Science Teacher Feeds Puppy to Snapping Turtle

A junior high school teacher is under investigation after he allegedly fed a live puppy to a snapping turtle in front of students for an after school demonstration. Robert Crosland has taught science at Preston Junior High School.

The Superintendent Marc Gee said that the event happened after students were dismissed and was not part of any school directed program.

Former students said that Crosland had previously fed guinea pigs to snakes he keeps in his classroom. It is not clear if the guinea pigs or the puppy were alive before the teacher decided to feed them to his reptiles and amphibians.

Gee says that the district is taking steps to ensure that this action is not repeated.

The Department of Agriculture took the turtle away from Crosland, and had it euthanized. Crosland is under investigation for the alleged animal mistreatment, but he has not been cited or charged and has not been placed on leave.

More than 129,000 people have signed a petition calling for his firing.

The Idaho General's Office is now in charge of investigating whether Crosland fed a live puppy to the snapping turtle.


Comments from Allen:
Snapping turtles are nasty beasts.  My son, Sam, was engaged in Army survival training in North Carolina, when an instructor poked a snapping turtle with a broom handle.  The turtle immediately sheared the broom handle in half.  They eat just about anything living, including other snapping turtles.

Feeding a live puppy to a snapping turtle, who would presumably cut the pup into bite-sized pieces and then eat the pieces, would violate I.C. Section 25-3504.  This statute prohibits cruelty to animals and provides that the perpetrator shall serve up to six months in jail and pay between $100 and $5,000 in fines.

As a teacher inviting students, even after class, to witness a criminal act, the school district would be within its rights to fire this teacher.

A third offense of this nature would be a felony.  The story mentions that this teacher previously had fed live guinea pigs to snakes.  While this could also constitute animal cruelty, it is the third conviction which makes the act a felony.  If Mr. Crossland were convicted of animal cruelty for feeding the live puppy to the turtle, that would be conviction #1, and only acts of cruelty committed after this conviction woud count as a second or third conviction.

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Allen Browning is an attorney in Idaho Falls, Idaho who handles personal injury and criminal defense. He has over 30 years of experience and handled thousands of cases. Allen handles cases from all over Idaho. Call (208) 542-2700 to set up a free consultation if you are facing legal trouble or you have been involved in an accident.

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Sources for more information:

https://www.eastidahonews.com/2018/03/investigation-underway-after-science-teacher-feeds-dog-to-turtle-in-front-of-students/

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/sciecne-teacher-accused-feeding-puppy-class-snapping-turtle-article-1.3871401

http://kidotalkradio.com/idaho-attorney-general-gets-the-preston-turtle-case/

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