Animal Abuse By Children And Teens Is Escalating

Welcome to 2009. It is a sad commentary on our society when the year has barely started and already a celebrity is in the news for animal abuse. Rapper DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, pled guilty to drug, theft and animal cruelty charges in an Arizona court.

Sadly his case is reminiscent to the raid on Michael Vick’s home where a professional dog fighting ring was found in 2007. I happily thought we had put that story behind us as we entered the new year in 2008 and the abused Pit Bull dogs finally found a safe haven at Best Friends Animal Society. But now as we begin 2009 I can see that Americans are slow learners.

DMX’s story began several years ago with allegations of animal cruelty, but it was only last summer when police raided his home after they received an anonymous tip about the neglect of his dogs. They found twelve malnourished Pit bull terriers in the yard without shelter from the sun and without food or water. Another three dogs were found buried in a shallow grave. All three of them had bite marks that resembled those from dog fighting rings and one had burns on his body.

The twelve dogs were sent to an animal rescue group in Arizona, but apparently DMX continued to acquire fighting dogs because when the police came to his house last Friday to take him into custody, they confiscated another five pit bull puppies.

At the trial DMX blamed the poor health of his dogs on an employee he had hired, but the judge pointed out that the rapper was the owner of the dogs and the responsible party. DMX agreed to never own an animal again and will serve at least 90 days in jail.

This publicized abusive behavior toward animals is having an effect on the values of our children and teens. In 2008, animal cruelty by children increased.

Here are just a few of the cases from last year:

  • The Dallas Animal Cruelty Task Force found seven Pit bulls with scarred faces, chopped ears and other deformities chained on an abandoned piece of land. All of the dogs had been used for professional dog fighting. The owners of the dogs were a group of teenage boys who were making large amounts of money from their abusive behavior.
  • Dog fighting rings organized by teenagers were stopped in Houston, Texas, and in several cities in North Carolina.
  • Two teenage boys in Mississippi were arrested for holding professional dog fights and cock fights. The two teens were already awaiting sentencing for an earlier animal cruelty charge.
  • In Nevada, three elementary aged children were reprimanded after they terrorized the family cat by putting her in an empty pillowcase and then dropping heavy objects around her. Luckily a parent arrived home before the cat was injured.
  • Also in Nevada, a 15-year-old boy was asked to vacuum the house while his family ran errands. One of the family cats was sleeping behind a couch in the living room and when the boy worked in that area he repeatedly rammed the vacuum into the couch. The cat was found with a broken jaw and eye socket.
  • Even Dear Abby received a letter about a Wisconsin neighborhood that was being terrorized by an eleven year old boy. He was coaxing neighborhood dogs into his yard and then exhibiting anti-social behavior by teasing and playing roughly with them and hiding them from their owners.
  • A 13-year-old boy in Lauren County shot a Golden retriever named Yellow at close range. The dog made a full recovery.
  • In Hartford Connecticut a Judge Raymond Norko ordered that a special task force be organized to curb the cruelty to animals by children. He issued the task force because of the amount of abuse he sees in the courtroom every year.

These acts of violence against defenseless animals occurred all across the country in 2008. It seems that many children are being raised without learning to have empathy for other beings. Is our society becoming so callous and self-centered that some of our young people have stopped seeing animals as real, breathing and loving companions? It makes me wonder what type of people they will be as adults and parents.

If you see a child acting in an abusive way to an animal, report it to Animal Control immediately.


Richard Embleton
Past Member 8 years ago

See, there was Abraham Lincoln, a Divine Incarnation Who did His part to extablish a balance for nowa days, but He didn’t become totally aware of Who He was. Then, more recently, there’s been Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Vladimir Lenin, Mikhail Gorbachev, Barack Obama, and many others all Who didn’t know about Who They are / were, and why They were stuck right in the thick of the worst places. Wanna know what’s going? Not kidding. This is intelligent, but first, maybe you’ve seen this “The ear that hears the reproof of life abides among the wise. He that refuses instruction despises his own soul: but he that hears reproof gets understanding.” Proverbs 15:31,32. See here:

With My Love and Peace,
Richard Embleton

Shannon D.
Shannon D.8 years ago

It's not just parents, it's everything. School, environment, peers, all of it. There's far more pressure on teens now than there was when you 40 somethings were growing up. We are pressured to be great at everything, and told if you're not, you'll be a failure at life. Teens and children need a release, like adults and drinking. Pet and animals are the closest thing they can get to, which they harm to forget about everything else. Teens and children need way more attention and help than generations before us. Don't condone our actions, HELP US so we don't continue to do it.

eric hernandez
eric hernandez8 years ago

all the education starts in home, the parents are being irresponsible

Sandra E.
Sandra E9 years ago

I agree with Jennifer's comment about the fact that parents should teach their children to respect every life, whether it is that of an animal or a human! If people do not have the time for their children to teach them how to be caring, loving people, then for God's sake, don't have kids and don't own pets until you are ready to make a 100% commitment. There are protective laws in place for children to report abuse, which is wonderful---we need even more, but how does an animal report their own abuse. People need to be on the look-out for abusive pet owners and report every suspicion to the law.

Julie van Niekerk

It should be made compulsory, like paying taxes that each person should work in a shelter for a weekend once a year so that they can see what is happening in this cruel world. Maybe a lot of cruel people will make amends and start realising that it is not cool to be cruel.

jennifer l.
jennifer l9 years ago

I don't think its celebrities- I think it is society period-PARENTS- they are not teaching any kind of respect in the home -not for authority figures, not for life, and certainly not for humanity to animals...cruelty to animals starts at home- if kids are not taught to love and respect them as children they grow up having none as adults--

Also,how many kids grow up seeing their parents discard their animals like they were day old bread? In most cases kids will mimic the examples set by the parents with regards to how they treat animals.

Eileen R.
Eileen R9 years ago

In the past 25 years, parent have been preached to that being a parent is wrong, your suppose to be their friend. disapline is wrong, it's the tv media that started this problem along with a bunch of nutty bleeding hearts. The fact is children needs disapline it teaches them that there are rules and also they learn to respect their guardians. at the moment they don't respect their parents, who could respect someone trying to buy their love. how can you respect a door mat. If you don't believe watch some of these bootcamp shows, research does show rigid rules and guideline work.

Debbie Hogan
Past Member 9 years ago

What a mad world this has become. Are we too far gone to change....? I hope not. Can future generations still be taught compassion when so many of us seem to have forgotten just what that is...? I hope so...

Chelsea A.
Chelsea A9 years ago

I'm 14. I'm happy to say that not all of this generation is completely corrupted. Just watching the commercials about the polar bears dying because of global warming practically makes me cry. But I can't really stick up for the majority of youth these days. I mean really, the world is seemingly losing compassion so rapidly these days it's disgusting. I can hardly imagine what this world will be like after the next couple generations. When these heartless stupid kids grow up to teach their own kids the same values and respect that the frankly lack. I wish I could say that you're all wrong and try to say that kids care and stop stereotyping, but I can't really.
BUT THE POINT IS that there are still good kids around who care and love and respect animals, and other human beings as well.

Kelly Kahlau
Kelly K9 years ago

I have honestly seen some of the children/teens in our apt. complex throw things at squirrels. Recently my neighbor's daughter and a friend were chasing one up a tree and throwing snow at it. I'm sorry, but then people wonder why some animals aren't friendly??? They need to teach their children respect. They respect wildlife, they respect pets; they respect pets, they respect other human beings. It all has to start somewhere.
I felt so bad for that squirrel too because I feed them peanuts off of our balcony almost every morning, and all he was trying to do was leave for the evening, to go wherever he goes to sleep for the night, and these young girls would not let up, even WITH ME STANDING THERE, glaring at them! Don't get me wrong, I have absolutely nothing against children. But I think some of the parental guidance is seriously lacking in today's world.