Biology teacher charged after feeding sick puppy to snapping turtle in front of students

Two months after a biology teacher garnered international headlines for feeding a puppy to a turtle, prosecutors have laid animal cruelty charges against the teacher.

Robert Crosland, a a biology teacher at Preston Junior High School in Preston, Idaho, has been accused of misdemeanor animal cruelty.cros

Tens of thousands of people signed a petition demanding the school fire Crosland, a popular teacher.

A mother of two boys at the school told the Preston Citizen the puppy was terminally ill and was given to Crosland by its grief-stricken owner; she said.

Crosland fed the dying puppy to the turtle in a graphic demonstration of the circle of life for his students. Another teacher tried to stop the incident.

Hansen said she was the first person the boys talked to after the incident, and it wasn’t because the puppy perished. It was because of the way the junior high staff member reacted when she heard the puppy.

The staff member never entered the room, said Farahlyn Hansen. The boys told her Crosland exited the room to talk to her as she began unlocking his room’s door.

They told me that she (the staff member) was screaming. They could hear her through the closed door. I asked if they could hear Mr. Crosland and they said they couldn’t,” said Hansen. “That was really upsetting to them. People are totally looking at this wrong.”

Hansen said the boys told her that the puppy had been abandoned by its mother and was brought to Crosland. It was so ill the owner didn’t want to deal with its death, hoping Crosland could save it. He couldn’t. Its death was imminent, so, he explained to the boys, its death would keep another animal alive, said Hansen.Preston School District 201 Superintendent Marc Gee called the incident a “regrettable circumstance” but said it occurred after school hours, not in front of a full class, KTVB reported.

While the incident sparked worldwide outrage, some parents expressed frustration over the ordeal and have defended Crosland.

Hansen told the Citizen her sons were more upset about the outrage among school staff leveled at the teacher.

“I am not upset. I felt like it was the more humane thing for Robert to do than to just leave it to die,” Hansen told the paper in March.

Despite what some defenders called a humane killing of a puppy, it also led to the turtle’s death. The incident triggered an investigation, and state wildlife authorities seized and euthanized the turtle after determining it was a nonnative species, the AP reported.

If convicted, Crosland faces up to six months in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Two petitions have started. One demanding Crosland be fired, another showing support for the biology teacher.

h/t: Change.org , Petition Site,  Preston Citizen   

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