Published: Wed, June 06, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

U.S. teacher 'who fed sick puppy to snapping turtle' charged

U.S. teacher 'who fed sick puppy to snapping turtle' charged

Officials seized and euthanized the snapping turtle, which is an invasive species in Idaho, and which requires the owner to have a permit, which Crosland did not.

A mother of two boys at the school told the Preston Citizen the puppy was terminally ill and was given to Crosland by its grief-stricken owner; she said Crosland fed the dying puppy to the turtle in a graphic demonstration of the circle of life for his students.

Idaho's attorney general assigned a special prosecutor to the case after a Franklin County prosecutor recused himself because of a conflict of interest, EastIdahoNews.com reported.

One calling for him to be fired and asking "Do we really want teachers killing living animals in front of impressionable junior high students?" has attracted almost 190,000 signatures.

The story made headlines around the world, and many demanded that Crosland be charged.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) said Mr Crosland was "a bully who should not be allowed near impressionable young people".

The petition referred to Crosland's stunt as "sick" and "disturbing", continuing: "According to the school district's superintendent, the incident happened after school hours, though a few students were present at that time".

"If anyone has a right to be upset, it is me", Farahlyn Hansen said, according to the news outlet.

The incident resulted in threats targeting Crosland and Preston schools.

Preston School Board Chairwoman Joy Christensen told the Statesman in March that the board would not make any decisions about Crosland until after the criminal investigation had concluded. If convicted, he could see jail time of up to six months, as well as a $5,000 (£3,750) fine.

Under Idaho law, a first animal cruelty offense is charged as a misdemeanor.

Despite what some defenders called a humane killing of a puppy, it also led to the turtle's death.

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