Killing of Four Animals by Teen Prompts PETA to Offer Humane Education

Group's Humane-Education Division Stresses Need for Policy Against Cruelty to Animals in School District's Code of Conduct

For Immediate Release:
December 18, 2015

Contact:
Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Webster, N.Y. – Following news that a 14-year-old Webster boy allegedly killed four of his neighbor’s animal companions—crushing two birds to death with his hands and shooting another bird and a bearded dragon with a BB gun—TeachKind, PETA’s humane-education division, is rushing letters to local schools urging them to implement humane education as well as a letter to the superintendent of Webster Central School District calling for a prohibition on cruelty to animals in the district’s codes of conduct. The boy is also under investigation for abusing his own family’s animal companions.

TeachKind and PETA—whose mottos read, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—are also offering free copies of their “Abuse: Report It if You See It” poster to area schools in the hope of preventing future abuse.

“As schools face an epidemic of bullying, this sad case demonstrates that it’s never too early to teach kids that all living beings deserve respect,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “TeachKind is calling on local schools to implement lessons on kindness to animals now and remind young people that they should always report cruelty when they see it.”

TeachKind points out that that 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. Many serial killers and mass murderers first attacked and killed animals, including the shooters at Columbine High School and “Canadian cannibal” killer Luka Rocco Magnotta.

TeachKind’s staff is available to send materials to schools, suggest lesson plans, and even host classroom presentations with students via Skype—all for free.

TeachKind’s letter to schools in Webster Central School District is available upon request. For more information, please visit TeachKind.org.

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Media Response Team.

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind