The teacher who fed a snapping turtle a live puppy in front of his students has recently been found not guilty of animal cruelty, shockingly.
An Idaho science teacher at Preston Junior High School, Robert Crosland, was recently charged with a misdemeanor animal cruelty back in June.
Local reports allege students were present at the time despite the incident taking place outside of school hours.
According to witnesses, the puppy swam briefly around the tank before being dragged to the bottom by a snapping turtle.
But the courts did not deem Mr. Crosland guilty of any animal cruelty.
Crosland’s lawyer argued that ‘we don’t believe a crime was committed.’
If he was convicted, Crosland could have faced up to six months in jail as well as a $5,000 fine.
The teacher shared with investigators how he was only ‘putting the puppy out of its misery,’ as it was allegedly emaciated and additionally had an overwhelming amount of deformities.
“I honestly thought I was doing the right thing. That’s what’s been so hard in seeing all this because that’s what I’ve been taught my whole life – not to let the animal suffer.
The snappy turtle was later seized as well as euthanized following the incident as it was not a native species, The Mirror reported.
Parents even created a petition to have the science teacher fired — collecting over 240,000 signatures.
The petition reads: “This is an extreme example of extremely poor judgement. Even if the puppy was so sick it was eventually going to die, Crosland hould not have fed it to a snapping turtle, especially while still alive. There are humane ways to deal with dying animals.”
The petition continued, saying:
“Studies show that people who commit violence against animals are more likely to commit violence against people. Do we really want teachers killing living animals in front of impressionable junior high students “Robert Crosland’s actions were sick and disturbing. Please sign this petition urging Preston School District Superintendent Marc Gee to fire Crosland now.”
Activists for animal rights also spoke out against Crosland after the horrific incident.
Jill Parrish, a campaigner, said: “Allowing children to watch an innocent baby puppy scream because it is being fed to an animal. That is violence. That is not okay.”
But according to the Idaho Statesman, a counter-petition supporting Crosland had been created and signed by 4,000 people.
And after Crosland was exonerated, he thanked the community for their support.
“It’s really what got me through all this, just their comments and talking to me and expressing their love.” Crosland shared.
Animal cruelty is defined by the National Human Society as:
“Most reported animal cruelty comes in the form of neglect, with direct violence occurring less. Often times, it can be difficult to gauge whether or not you’ve witnessed animal cruelty—the following examples may help you categorize suspected cruelty you do see.”
If you suspect animal cruelty, call 9-1-1 or your local animal control.
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