Kitten’s death marks need for education

Published 8:35 pm Saturday, June 4, 2011

By Michele Thames
Guest Columnist

Earlier this week, I learned about a case of animal cruelty in Suffolk in which a 12-year-old boy allegedly threw a kitten against a wall, kicked the kitten and attempted to stab the kitten with a pocketknife. Before the 12-year-old was able to hurt the kitten with the knife, another child stepped in and stopped the abuse.

There has been an outpouring of anger at the 12 year old child for his actions. There has been a flood of support for the heroic action of the child that stopped the mistreatment of the helpless kitten.

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There are many different reasons why people hurt animals, and sometimes it is because they are simply cruel. Studies show that there is a correlation between animal abuse, child abuse and domestic violence. For some children, exposure to violence makes committing violent acts more probable.

The hope of the Suffolk Humane Society is that the 12-year-old child gets the help he needs so he can stop the cycle of abuse and cruelty.

Unfortunately, the kitten in this case died, but the boy who attempted to save his life deserves all the accolades in the world. It is very difficult to stand up for what is right, and it is never right to harm an animal in an act of violence.

The Suffolk Humane Society would like to publicly thank this boy for his heroic actions. Our hope is that all children will feel empowered to stand up for what is right and just as they grow up.

The Suffolk Humane Society is committed to a humane education program that teaches compassion and kindness toward both people and animals. We want to teach ways to commit to living an ethical, sustainable, and peaceful existence on earth with animals and humans alike. We have a team of committed volunteers and certified therapy dogs that are able to visit schools, community centers, churches and other gathering places to educate both children and adults.

Please visit our website,, or call 538-3030 and leave a message to find out more about our services or how you can help. The way that we treat those least able to defend themselves speaks volumes about our community.

Michele Thames is the humane education director and president of the Board of Directors for the Suffolk Humane Society.