Teacher Charged for Allegedly Feeding Puppy to Snapping Turtle in Front of Students

AP Photo/Elliott Minor
AP Photo/Elliott Minor

A teacher in Preston, Idaho allegedly fed a small puppy to a large snapping turtle — right outside of the school, and in front of students.

Robert Crosland has been charged with one misdemeanor count of animal cruelty, filed in Franklin County Court by a special prosecutor appointed by Attorney General Lawrence Wasden following an investigation into the alleged strange and horrific events of March 7. Crosland was allegedly involved in what the school administration called “a regrettable circumstance involving some of the biological specimens.”

One student has vocally disputed the story that has garnered international attention. “If anyone has a right to be upset, it is me,” Farahlyn Hansen told the East Idaho News. She claims that the puppy was already dying and this was a better fate than its slow and painful demise. “I am not upset. I felt like it was the more humane thing for Robert to do than to just leave it (the puppy) to die. … The puppy was dying,” she claimed.

A Facebook post calling for violence against the Preston School District put law enforcement officers on temporarily heightened alert, though it was not considered a “credible threat” to public safety.

While Crosland may face a $5,000 penalty and up to six months in jail, he has done considerably better than the turtle. It was captured and “humanely euthanized” for its meal, as it is considered a member of an invasive species.

While some 3,700 people are making their support of the teacher known, 192,000 people have already signed a petition asking the school to fire Crosland. PETA called Crosland “a bully who should not be allowed near impressionable young people.”