Earlier this year we shared the horrifying story of a science teacher from Preston Junior High School in Idaho, Robert Crosland, who was under investigation for feeding a live puppy to a snapping turtle in front of his students. We are happy to report a positive outcome to this story!

Animal rights activist Jill Parrish filed a police report after hearing about the incident in March, which apparently took place in an after-school class … as though that is any justification for this kind of cruelty. Crosland’s argument that the puppy was deformed and would have died anyway held no weight. Preston School District officials immediately issued a statement following the incident which said, “the event occurred well after students had been dismissed and was not a part of any school-directed program. We emphasize that at no time was the safety of students or staff compromised.”


After word got out about the incident, numerous petitions were launched both for and against Mr. Crosland. One such petition called for him to be fired and asked, “do we really want teachers killing living animals in front of impressionable junior high students?” This petition attracted almost 190,000 signatures.

Robert Crosland, who has not commented on the incident since it happened, has now been charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty and faces up to six months in jail as well as a $5,000 fine if convicted. According to PETA, Mr. Crosland was “a bully who should not be allowed near impressionable young people.”

There are two victims in this case, one the puppy that met its death at the jaws of another animal, and the turtle itself. The turtle was seized by the Idaho State Department of Agriculture when they learned there was no permit for the animal, and he was euthanized immediately, as snapping turtles are considered an invasive species.

Science is an important subject for all of us to learn, and showing the true natures of the animals we inhabit this planet with is an essential part of our education. We hear of inspiring teachers who encourage children to learn about growing their own food and how to show compassion for animals all the time. But how Mr. Crosland could ever justify this live feeding of a puppy to a turtle in front of middle school students is beyond our belief, and no lesson we would ever want to attend!


We are thrilled to hear that justice may now be served.

Image Source: Alin Meceanu/Unsplash