Teen Shoves Cat Into Toilet, Prompting PETA Offer of Humane Education

Following High School Student's Arrest for Allegedly Flushing Cat, TeachKind Stresses Need to Teach Compassion in the Classroom

For Immediate Release:
September 14, 2018

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Staten Island, N.Y. – TeachKind, PETA’s humane education division, sent a letter this morning urging Staten Island school district superintendents and local schools to implement humane education immediately. The letters follow the arrest of a local teen—who was charged with cruelty to animals and faces charges of torturing an animal—after he posted a Snapchat video of himself shoving a cat into a toilet, shutting the lid, and flushing.

TeachKind—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—has also offered Staten Island high schools and middle schools free “Bullies Are Just Cowards: Report Abuse When You See It!” posters and sent elementary schools in the district its Share the World curriculum kits, which include lesson plans that aim to foster empathy for animals and are appropriate for even the youngest learners. The kits help schools comply with New York’s character-education mandate, which requires that they prescribe courses in the humane treatment and protection of animals.

“Violence is sweeping through our schools, and this teen apparently used social media to brag about his despicable attack on a terrified cat,” says peta2 Associate Director of Youth Campaigns Rachelle Owen. “TeachKind is urging schools to help prevent anyone else from getting hurt by implementing humane education.”

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

The group’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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 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