Teen’s Beating of Cat Prompts Offer of Humane Education

After Rescuing Abused Animal, PETA Stresses Need to Teach Compassion to All Students

For Immediate Release:
September 28, 2020

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

New Castle, Pa. – After a local teenager posted a Snapchat video of himself viciously beating a cat with his fists in his bedroom, TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—sent letters this afternoon urging Superintendent Debra DeBlasio of the New Castle Area School District and Superintendent Terence Meehan of the Neshannock Township School District as well as every principal in both districts to implement lessons in compassion immediately. The action comes after PETA managed to secure custody of the cat, now named Oreo, thanks to the efforts of local police and the complainant who brought the teen’s abuse to the group’s attention.

“A vulnerable cat was used as a punching bag by a cruel teen who desperately needs a lesson in empathy,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Programs Marta Holmberg. “TeachKind is urging schools in the area to help prevent anyone else from getting hurt by implementing humane education immediately.”

TeachKind—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—is offering the districts its new “Empathy Now” educators’ guide for addressing and preventing youth violence against animals, as well as offering to send elementary schools in the districts its “Share the World” curriculum kits, which are appropriate for even the youngest learners. The kits help educators address Pennsylvania’s law that encourages them to present lessons incorporating “basic civil values and character traits” such as “respect … empathy, [and] compassion.”

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 Zoom—all for free.

The group’s letters are 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