PETA Rushes Anti-Violence Ads to Schools After S.C. Teen Convicted of Abusing Cats

Group Warns That Kids Who Torment Animals Often 'Graduate' to Fellow Humans

For Immediate Release:
March 24, 2014

Contact:
Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Summerville, S.C. – Following reports that 18-year-old Summerville High School student Deonta Weaver was convicted and sentenced to 50 hours of community service after he posted videos on social media showing his abuse of cats, TeachKind—PETA’s educational division—is sending its “Abuse: Report It if You See It” poster to each of the schools in Dorchester School District Two in the hope of preventing similar incidents.

The poster shows a chained, cowering dog next to insulting phrases such as “Shut Up,” “Stupid,” and “Dumb Dog” and goes on to explain the link between animal abuse and violence directed toward humans, concluding with the words “Bullies Are Cowards—Don’t Be Afraid to Report Them.” In the letter that accompanies the poster, TeachKind offers to help implement humane-education lessons in Summerville’s schools.

“People of any age who harm animals are a threat to society,” says PETA Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “PETA’s poster urges kids to go to their parents, their teachers, or the police to report cruelty to animals the moment it occurs—for everyone’s sake.”

As TeachKind points out in its letter, criminal-profile studies show that many people who are violent toward animals in their youth grow up to commit violent crimes against humans—making early enforcement action even more crucial. 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 school shooters started out by abusing animals, and the FBI uses reports of animal abuse to gauge the threat potential of suspected and known criminals.

TeachKind’s letter is available upon request. For more information, please visit TeachKind.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
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