PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk released this statement to the American media in response to reports that Devin Patrick Kelley, the shooter involved in the massacre at a Texas church, had a history of cruelty to animals:
It is no surprise to PETA that—three years before he massacred 26 people in Sutherland Springs, Texas—Devin Patrick Kelley was charged with cruelty to animals for punching, throwing, and dragging a dog as the animal cried and struggled. Although the FBI has identified cruelty to animals as a warning sign of more violence to come and every school shooter and serial killer has a history of abusing animals, Kelley was given only a slap on the wrist for what was likely a “training crime.” While the issues of gun control and mental health rage on, one simple way to prevent many acts of violence is for local law-enforcement officials to pursue the strongest penalties possible in cruelty cases, for everyone’s sake.
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Join the call for stronger punishments for those who abuse animals.