Kids’ Arrests for Killing Goldfish Prompt Offer of Humane Education

PETA Stresses Need to Teach Anti-Bullying and Empathy in the Classroom

For Immediate Release:
September 12, 2018

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Las Cruces, N.M.

After three young people reportedly aged 11 to 13 were arrested and charged with felony cruelty to animals after allegedly breaking into a Las Cruces daycare on September 1, removing three goldfish from a tank, and stomping at least two of the animals to death, TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—sent letters this morning calling on Las Cruces Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Greg Ewing and local schools to implement humane education.

TeachKind—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—is mailing Las Cruces elementary schools free copies of its Share the World curriculum kit, which includes lesson plans designed to help educators teach even the youngest learners to have empathy for and show kindness to animals. The group has also offered the middle and high schools in the county free “Bullies Are Just Cowards: Report Abuse When You See It!” posters, noting that it’s vital that a standard of compassion be set and that students be taught that violence toward any living, feeling being is wrong.

“Bullying and violence are sweeping through schools today, and it’s crucial that educators teach students that it’s not acceptable to hurt animals, let alone smear their smashed bodies across a tile floor,” says peta2 Associate Director Rachelle Owen. “TeachKind is urging schools to implement humane education and help prevent anyone else from getting hurt.”

TeachKind notes that individuals who demonstrate a blatant disregard for life by hurting animals rarely stop there. According to leading mental-health professionals and law-enforcement agencies, perpetrators of violent acts against animals are often repeat offenders who pose a serious threat to the community at large. TeachKind’s staff is available to send materials to schools, suggest lesson plans, and even host classroom presentations for students via Skype—all free of charge.

The group’s letter is available upon request. For more information, please visit

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