Teen Caught Hacking Cats to Death, Prompting PETA to Offer Humane Education

PETA's Humane-Education Division Stresses Need for Anti-Bullying Policy That Includes Cruelty to Animals

For Immediate Release:
May 18, 2015

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Boston – Following reports that a 17-year-old Dorchester boy is facing charges after allegedly killing, decapitating, and dismembering multiple cats with a machete, TeachKind—PETA’s humane-education division—rushed a letter this morning to the superintendent of Boston Public Schools calling on him to include cruelty to animals in the district’s anti-bullying policy. In its letter, the group explains that abusing animals can lead to continued antisocial behavior, from further acts of cruelty against animals to bullying, aggression, and violence against humans. TeachKind and PETA—whose mottos read, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—have also sent letters offering free copies of their “Abuse: Report It if You See It” poster to each school in the area in the hope of preventing future abuse.

“These cats’ gruesome deaths are a stark reminder that young people must be taught to have empathy for all living beings,” says PETA Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “As schools across the country face an epidemic of bullying, TeachKind is asking Boston schools to let students know that any kind of cruelty or insensitivity is wrong by adding cruelty to animals to their anti-bullying policies.”

In its letters, TeachKind points out 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 the superintendent of Boston Public Schools is available upon request. For more information, please visit TeachKind.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 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