Statement From PETA re Texas Shooter Using Dogs for Target Practice

For Immediate Release:
November 10, 2017

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va. – It is reported that Devin Patrick Kelley, the Sutherland Springs shooter, purchased dogs from Craigslist to use as target practice. There is a well-established link that law-enforcement officials recognize between cruelty to animals and other violent acts, such as mass shootings and serial killings, and a statement from PETA President Ingrid Newkirk follows:

It is no surprise to PETA that three years before he massacred 26 people in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Devin Patrick Kelley was charged with cruelty to animals for punching, throwing, and dragging a dog as the animal cried and struggled, and that he reportedly bought dogs from Craigslist to use as living targets. The FBI has identified cruelty to animals as a sign of psychopathy and a red flag indicating future escalating violence. Every school shooter and serial killer has a history of abusing animals, yet Kelley was given only a slap on the wrist for his cruelty to the dog he harmed, and his additional alleged “training crimes” on animals seem to have gone unreported. While debates about gun control and mental health rage on, one simple way in which to prevent future violence is for local law-enforcement officials to pursue the strongest penalties possible in cruelty cases—for everyone’s sake.

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way,” and more information is available at

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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