Two teen girls were arrested in Wichita Falls, Texas, after allegedly stabbing a kitten in the head with a knife and slicing him or her open from end to end. They reportedly posted a video of the horrific act on Snapchat.

We don’t know why the teens killed the kitten or where the animal came from, but we DO know that Wichita Falls students are instructed to cut open and disembowel cats and other animals in classroom dissection exercises that are eerily similar to what happened in this case.

Animals are not ours to cut apart—whether the act is wrongly sanctioned by a science teacher or, as in this alleged case, is against the law. To prevent future incidents of cruelty to animals, TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—is calling on the superintendent of the Wichita Falls Independent School District to ban classroom dissection and use superior non-animal teaching methods instead. Studies suggest that exposing young people to animal dissection and calling it “science” can foster callousness toward animals and nature. Plus, research in psychology and criminology shows that people who commit violent acts against animals rarely stop there—they often move on to hurting humans, too.

In 2016, Winston Churchill High School in San Antonio was called out after a whistleblower showed PETA video footage of students in class jumping rope with intestines from cats they were dissecting. And no, this wasn’t a lesson on becoming a murderer—this happened in an actual high school science class and was encouraged by the teacher. The school district has since ended cat dissection following a public outcry.

In 2015, PETA obtained a disturbing video that was apparently filmed at Oklahoma City’s top-ranked Harding Charter Preparatory High School. The video shows students wearing lab coats and playfully dancing with dead cats slated to be dissected in their biology class. The video of the choreographed “dance” was posted on social media, and the students’ teacher was even tagged in the post. The school also stopped dissecting cats after the heartless display went viral.

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The cat who was allegedly killed and cut open by the teens in Wichita Falls was no different from those on the dissection table in a classroom. All animals experience pain and emotions such as fear, happiness, and love—just as humans do.

What You Can Do

  • If you ever witness or hear about anyone harming an animal, contact local authorities right away. If they’re not helpful, contact us.
  • Cats and other animals are still being cut open in classrooms across the country. Cutting up the corpses of tortured, abused, and slaughtered animals is not educational. It’s wrong, and you don’t have to do it—you have a choice. Check out our map to find out if your state or school district has a dissection-choice policy. If your state does have one, your teacher could be REQUIRED to give you an alternative assignment when you ask for one. If it doesn’t and your teacher tries to make you dissect, stay strong and let us help. We’re always here for you!