Video of Teen Choking, Throwing Cat Prompts PETA Action

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

For Immediate Release:
October 20, 2014

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Cleveland – Following the Facebook posting of a video appearing to show an unidentified teen boy choking a black cat and throwing the terrified animal across a Cleveland street, TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—rushed letters to area schools this morning calling on them to begin teaching students about the dangers of abusing animals. As PETA notes in its letter, uncorrected acts of violence can lead to continued anti-social behavior, from further acts of violence against animals to bullying, aggression, and violence against humans.

“Teaching kids to be kind does as much for the children as for the animals, because kids who abuse animals and never have that behavior called out often continue behaving violently,” says PETA Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “PETA and TeachKind’s lessons help start violence prevention in the classroom by teaching students 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 coordinate humane classroom presentations, aid in planning lessons on empathy toward animals, and send copies of their poster titled “Abuse: Report It if You See It” to each school in the area in hopes of preventing similar incidents. TeachKind also notes in its letter that many serial killers and mass murderers first attacked and killed animals—something that FBI experts call “the link” between violence to animals and violence to human beings.

TeachKind’s staff is always available to send free materials, suggest free lesson plans, and even host free classroom presentations with students via Skype.

For more information, please visit

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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