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Teacher Who Fed Puppy To Snapping Turtle Now Charged With Animal Cruetly

Teacher Who Fed Puppy To Snapping Turtle Now Charged With Animal Cruetly
(Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images)

The Idaho science teacher who thought it was a swell idea to feed a sick puppy to a snapping turtle as part of a demonstration for his middle school students back in March was arraigned on Friday.

Robert Crosland, a Preston Junior High School faculty member, is facing one misdemeanor count of animal cruelty. If convicted, he could face six months of jail time and a $5,000 fine.

A special prosecutor assigned to the case by Attorney General Lawrence Wasden filed the charge in Franklin County Court on Friday. The first court date has yet to be scheduled.

Immediately after the incident, people circulated a petition demanding that the school district fire Crosland. "Do we really want teachers killing living animals in front of impressionable junior high students?" it read.

Animal activist Jill Parrish was disgusted with Crosland and filed a police report. She told Fox 13, "It is sick. It is sick,"

Allowing children to watch an innocent baby puppy scream because it is being fed to an animal. That is violence. That is not okay.

Even though the poor puppy wasn't long for this world, Parrish didn't agree that forcing it to become the turtle's lunch while still alive in front of students was appropriate.

There's a lot of humane things you can do. Feeding a live animal to a reptile is not humane and it's not okay.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) also condemned Crosland, calling him a "bully who should not be allowed near impressionable young people."

Freshwater turtles are known to be aggressive when restrained or confronted on land and their bites are "powerful enough to mutilate human fingers," according to Wikipedia.

It's doubtful that some of the students wouldn't be emotionally scarred from witnessing the primal feeding.

Despite the ire from animal sympathizers, thousands came to the teacher's defense by distributing petitions. One of the student's parents, Annette Salvesen, said:

If it was a deformed puppy that was going to die anyway. Cros(land) is very much circle of life. If you're not fine with it, leave the room.

One petition called "We Support Crosland" circulated and already received over 3,700 signatures as of Friday.

After the The Idaho Department of Agriculture declared the turtle as part of an "invasive species," state officials seized and "humanely euthanized" the turtle, which spurred another public outcry.

H/T - Fox13now, Twitter, vcstar, CBSnews