Video of Teens Lighting Cat on Fire Prompts Offer of Humane Education

PETA Stresses Need to Teach Anti-Bullying and Compassion in the Classroom After Youths Beat, Stab, and Burn Cat to Death

For Immediate Release:
January 26, 2018

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Baltimore – After learning that five teenagers were caught on private surveillance footage abusing, and ultimately killing, a cat in the 5100 block of Harford Road in northeast Baltimore last month, TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—sent letters today to schools in the area urging them to implement humane education. According to reports, the abusers fatally beat, stabbed, and set the cat on fire in an attack that lasted nearly 11 minutes. Two of the perpetrators have reportedly been arrested and charged with felony cruelty to animals.

TeachKind—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—has asked the district superintendent to implement humane education in all schools. The group has also offered the area’s high schools and middle schools free “Bullies Are Just Cowards: Report Abuse When You See It!” posters and has sent elementary schools copies of its Share the World curriculum kit, which is appropriate for even the youngest students.

“We’re facing a bullying epidemic, so a group of teens who reportedly beat and set a cat on fire is cause for serious concern and demands swift action from educators and law enforcement alike,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “TeachKind is urging schools to help prevent acts of cruelty to animals by teaching kids respect for others.”

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 letters are available upon request. For more information, please visit

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