PETA Asks Judge To Keep Teen Who Filmed Dogs Killing A Cat And A Fox Away From Animals

For Immediate Release:
21 February 2010

Sam Glover 020 7357 9229, ext 229; [email protected]

Kirkby, Liverpool – The London-based PETA Foundation has sent a letter to the Knowsley Youth Court asking the magistrate to take every measure necessary to ensure that a 17-year-old who goaded dogs into killing a cat and a young fox – and then filmed the carnage – be permanently barred from contact with animals and that any animals still in his possession be taken into protective custody. In the letter, the PETA Foundation also asks that the teenager be monitored and undergo mandatory long-term counselling in addition to serving any sentence or abiding by any other conditions imposed. The defendant, who for legal reasons has not been named, has admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to the animals.

“Acts of violence against animals are often a precursor to escalating antisocial behaviour”, says the PETA Foundation’s education manager, Suzanne Barnard. “People should be deeply concerned when anyone who delights in deliberately inflicting pain on animals is found in their midst, and PETA encourages communities and courts to take strong protective measures.”

Research in psychology and criminology reveals that a consistent pattern of cruelty to animals often precedes violent crimes against humans. With its letter to the magistrate, the PETA Foundation enclosed an American Psychiatric Association report that identifies mistreatment of animals as one of the diagnostic criteria for conduct disorders. The group also notes that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation uses reports of crimes against animals to analyse the threat potential of suspected and known criminals.

Many, if not all, well-known serial rapists and murderers have a history of cruelty to animals. Child-killers Mary Bell, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables as well as serial murderers Ian Huntley, Thomas Hamilton, Fred West, Dennis Nilsen, Ian Brady and Jeffrey Dahmer all started on their paths to violence by deliberately harming animals.

The PETA Foundation’s letter to the Knowsley Youth Court is available upon request. For more information, please visit