For Immediate Release:
March 29, 2022
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382
Philadelphia – Following reports that a 12-year-old and a 17-year-old face felony charges after allegedly using dogs to attack and critically injure a family cat named Buddy, TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—has just rushed a letter to School District of Philadelphia Superintendent William Hite Jr. offering to provide the district with a K–12 kindness-to-animals curriculum and “Empathy Now,” a guide to preventing youth violence against animals. The group is also offering to host free, empathy-building virtual presentations to help prevent future violence.
“If reports are true that two juveniles goaded dogs into attacking and nearly killing Buddy, they need psychiatric counseling and should be barred from ever being around animals again,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Programs Marta Holmberg. “In the meantime, TeachKind is on standby to help schools teach students that violence is wrong, whether the victim is a cat or a classmate.”
TeachKind notes that research shows that 43% of perpetrators of schoolyard massacres first committed acts of cruelty against animals, usually dogs or cats—so juvenile animal abusers potentially pose a serious threat to the community at large. TeachKind’s other resources include its free high school social justice curriculum, “Challenging Assumptions,” and its “Share the World” program kit for young children.
TeachKind—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit TeachKind.org or follow the group on Facebook or Instagram.