Teacher Fed Puppy To Snapping Turtle, But Ruled Not Guilty

He said the puppy was sick and that he was just putting it out of its misery.


What do you think of the outcome?

An Idaho science teacher who made national headlines after feeding a sick puppy to a snapping turtle in front of students was found not guilty of animal cruelty last week. Robert Crosland, a teacher at Preston Junior High School in the city of Preston, never disputed that he fed the puppy to his classroom turtle back in March. Crosland and his defense contended that the incident was a humane act of mercy toward the puppy, which he said was very ill and near death. The teacher was facing one charge of misdemeanor animal cruelty. “I honestly thought I was doing the right thing by putting it out of its misery,” the teacher explained. A jury came back with a not-guilty verdict after deliberating for about half an hour. After the trial, Crosland expressed gratitude to the local community for supporting him. Plus, the man was able to remain as a teacher working at
Preston Junior High School.

Crosland’s son, Mario Crosland, had gotten the puppy from a local farmer whose dog had given birth but and believed that her puppies challenged her health. Mario Crosland claimed that the puppy was very ill and refused to eat anything. Robert Crosland decided he would feed the puppy to one of his classroom animals – first a python, then the snapping turtle. He placed the puppy in the snapping turtle’s tank. As the puppy started to swim, it was dragged to the bottom of the tank and eaten. The attention and backlash garnered also led to the death of that specific snapping turtle, as Crosland did not apply for a proper permit. It was seized and put down by the Idaho State Department of Agriculture shortly afterwards.

The feeding happened after the school day was over, while 3 students remained in the classroom. The mother of 2 boys concerned even defended the teacher’s actions, and so did the other student. Others however, condemned the act. “I don’t think it was necessary to teach anything to these children that was gained by feeding a live puppy to a turtle. We don’t teach hypothermia in physiology class by putting kittens in a freezer,” remarked Jeff Rosenthal, a veterinarian and the chief executive of the Idaho Humane Society.

Watch the news report in the video below:

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