A middle school science teacher at Preston Junior High School allegedly fed a live, ill puppy to a snapping turtle he kept in his class, all while students looked on. According to local news sources Friday, the turtle has since been euthanized.
From The Salt Lake Tribune: Because it is considered an invasive species, Idaho officials said they have “humanely” euthanized a snapping turtle that had been kept in a Preston classroom and allegedly was fed a live, terminally ill puppy last week.
Police responded to Preston Junior High School on March 8 in response to a complaint of animal cruelty, according to the Franklin County sheriff’s office. Four days later, the office submitted reports to Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Vic Pearson for a review of potential animal cruelty charges against science teacher Robert Crosland.
The report continues: Law enforcement also contacted the Idaho State Department of Agriculture, responsible for implementing provisions of the state’s Invasive Species Act, the department said. The department had the snapping turtle seized and “humanely” euthanized it.
“Snapping turtles are highly-adaptable, top-tier predators in their habitat,” the department wrote in a Friday news release. “The public is urged to avoid propagating invasive species or from bringing them into Idaho from other states and countries.”
Due to the controversy surrounding the Crosland’s activities, an anonymous person posted threats of violence against him, prompting police intervention. Police officers were stationed outside the junior high and other schools in the Preston School District on Thursday.
As to feeding the turtle a puppy, a friend of Crosland’s said while he did feed the puppy to the turtle, details surrounding the story have been “twisted and misconstrued,” according to the report.
The report continues: Someone — McKay didn’t know who — brought a sick, deformed and abandoned puppy to Crosland, a man reportedly well-known for taking in hurt and sick animals.
Three boys were in the classroom, helping Crosland feed his animals after school had ended.
The puppy was dying. Crosland couldn’t get the puppy to eat or drink, McKay said and was beyond saving. The person who brought it in knew it needed to be put down.
Crosland put the puppy into the snapping turtle’s tank, where it drowned and was eaten, according to McKay.
A school staff member became involved during or after the feeding, and she sent details of what happened via text message to a woman who filed a police report.
The three boys who were present during the feeding “all work on farms and understood what was happening,” according to the mother of two of the boys, The Tribune reports.