Chicago – Following news that an 18-year-old Chicago teen has been accused of pouring boiling water on a cat in a video that he posted to Facebook, TeachKind, PETA’s humane-education division, is rushing letters to local schools urging them to implement humane education and asking the CEO of Chicago Public Schools to add a prohibition against cruelty to animals to its code of conduct. In the letters, TeachKind explains that abusing animals can lead to continued antisocial behavior, from further acts of cruelty toward animals to bullying, aggression, and violence against humans. TeachKind and PETA—whose mottos read, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—are also offering free copies of their “Abuse: Report It if You See It” poster to each school in the area in the hope of preventing future abuse. The cat survived the attack and is now recovering at a local animal shelter.

“The violent attack on this helpless cat should serve as a painful reminder that the time to start teaching young people compassion is now,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “TeachKind is asking local schools to let students know that any kind of cruelty or insensitivity is wrong by implementing humane education into school curriculums immediately.”

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

TeachKind’s letters to Chicago schools and the CEO of Chicago Public Schools are available upon request. For more information, please visit