Turtle who was fed puppy in Idaho classroom euthanized

Posted at 12:24 PM, Mar 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-18 12:11:06-04

PRESTON, Idaho — The snapping turtle who was fed a puppy in front of students at an Idaho junior high school has been euthanized, according to a representative for the Idaho State Department of Agriculture.

"The snapping turtle was euthanized humanely" a statement from the ISDA representative said.

Jennifer Jackson, a Regional Conservation Educator for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, told Fox 13 Fish and Game seized the turtle Tuesday and turned it over to the Department of Agriculture at the Idaho Department of Agriculture's request, and under its authority. The turtle was euthanized the same day.

Robert Crosland - Preston Junior High

The snapping turtle had been in the possession of Preston Jr. High School science teacher Robert Crosland, who is accused of feeding a puppy to the turtle in the presence of students on March 7.

“The event occurred well after students had been dismissed and was not a part of any school-directed program,” said Marc Gee, Preston School District 201 Superintendent, in a news release sent to East Idaho News. “We emphasize that at no time was the safety of students or staff compromised.”

In Idaho, snapping turtles are classified as an invasive species, and Crosland did not have a permit to keep one, the ISDA representative told Fox 13.

Vic Pearson, the Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney, sent a statement on March 13 which said, "law enforcement turned over the incident reports regarding their investigation into my office for review of potential animal cruelty charges against the teacher involved."

However, because of a conflict of interest, Pearson said his office could not review the case and instead asked a prosecuting attorney in the 6th Judicial District for help.

"The reports have been turned over to him for his review and determination," the statement said.

Gee said the Preston School District received a threat of violence via Facebook, and the threat has been reported to the FBI.

"Preston City Police Chief Peterson and Franklin County Sheriff Fryar have met with district administrators and have determined that the threat warrants continued police presence as a precaution, but that it does not pose a credible threat to the safety of our students," the statement said. "Currently there are multiple uniformed officers located at all Preston School District Schools. They will remain in place throughout the school day."

A spokesperson with the FBI told Fox 13 that the FBI has been contacted and is aware of the threats, and will assist if requested.

Watch FOX 13 News and for updates.