Science Teacher Accused Of Feeding Sick Puppy To Turtle In Front Of Kids Found Not Guilty

A snapping turtle, not the one involved in the incident (RIP Jaws). Melinda Fawver/Shutterstock

Back in March 2018, an Idaho science teacher was accused of feeding a sick puppy to a snapping turtle in front of students to teach them about “the circle of life”. Along with attracting a whole lot of heat on social media, the extracurricular lesson also earned Robert Crosland a trial last week at a Franklin County court.

Crosland was found not guilty of misdemeanor animal cruelty charges by a jury on Friday, as reported by East Idaho News.

"I’d like to thank this community for staying behind me. It’s really what got me through all of this,” he told reporters, speaking publicly about the incident for the first time. 

The snapping turtle's fate, however, was not so fortunate. The turtle, called Jaws, was reportedly seized and euthanized by the Idaho Department of Agriculture shortly after the incident because it is defined as an invasive species. RIP Jaws.

A dog belonging to Crosland's neighbor gave birth to the puppy, which was said to be deeply sick and on the verge of dying. The junior high teacher believed it would be the “right thing” to put the puppy out of its misery and kill it promptly – by feeding it to the school’s python, Monty.

However, Monty didn’t take the bait. Later that same day, Crosland decided to feed it to Jaws after school hours in a classroom with a small group of students. Students recalled how the dog was dropped into a tank with the snapping turtle and thrashed around for around 30 seconds before being eaten. All of the students who testified said they had no problem with the act and were appropriately warned beforehand.

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