Teen’s Felony Conviction for Cat Abuse Prompts Offer of Humane Education

PETA's Humane-Education Division Stresses the Importance of Teaching Kids Empathy for All Living Beings

For Immediate Release:
September 10, 2014

Contact:
Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Sudden Valley, Wa. – Last week, a teenage boy in Sudden Valley was convicted of felony cruelty to animals in the first degree after he was caught on video sexually abusing, hitting, slamming, choking, and smothering his family’s cat as the animal screamed in terror. That’s why today, TeachKind—PETA’s humane-education division—rushed letters to schools in the Bellingham Public School District, calling on them to begin teaching students about the dangers of abusing animals and explaining how this act can lead to violence against humans.

“The FBI uses reports of animal abuse while gauging the threat potential of suspected and known criminals, and the American Psychiatric Association identifies it as one diagnostic criterion for conduct disorders,” writes TeachKind coordinator Nina Kahn. “The prevention of violence can start in the classroom if students are taught to have empathy for all living beings.”

TeachKind and PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—are offering to send copies of their poster titled “Abuse: Report It if You See It” to each school in the areain hopes of preventing similar incidents. Many serial killers and mass murderers first attacked and killed animals.

TeachKind’s staff is always available to send free materials to schools, suggest free lesson plans, and even host free classroom presentations with students via Skype. TeachKind’s humane-education lessons help kids learn to have empathy for allliving beings—something the recent perpetrator’s mother noted her son lacked—allowing educators to reach them before they ever lash out violently against anyone.

For more information, please visit TeachKind.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

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“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