For Immediate Release:
November 1, 2021
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382
Indian Trail, N.C. – Following reports that a dog died after a group of local teens took the blind and elderly animal from her backyard, kept her tied her up without food, water, or her medication, and threatened to kill and eat her, TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—rushed off emergency education kits today to Andrew Houlihan, superintendent of Union County Public Schools, along with a letter urging him to implement the lessons right away.
TeachKind notes that school violence is on the rise, and there have been multiple reports this year of teens across the country punching, shooting, strangling, and otherwise tormenting and killing animals, from kittens to geese and horses. Introducing studies in compassion—such as TeachKind’s “Empathy Now,” a step-by-step guide to addressing and preventing youth violence against animals—could help prevent further attacks.
“Rather than feeling sympathy for a disabled dog, these teens reportedly tormented her for days on end, and she died shortly after her return home,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Programs Marta Holmberg. “As police pursue this case, PETA reminds educators that lessons from TeachKind can teach compassion for all, which can save animals’ lives and keep violence out of schools.”
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. Per North Carolina law, schools are required to “develop and implement character education instruction.” This goal can be achieved by incorporating humane education into the curriculum.
TeachKind—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. The group offers free resources, presentations, lessons, and more to help teachers add compassion to their curriculum, all for free. For more information, please visit TeachKind.org or follow the group on Facebook or Instagram.