A junior high biology teacher who made national headlines for feeding a live puppy to a snapping turtle has been cleared of criminal wrongdoing. Robert Crosland was acquitted by a jury in Preston, Idaho, of animal cruelty charges, reports USA Today. Crosland has maintained from the start that he thought he was doing the right thing because the puppy was weak, sick, and wouldn't feed. He says he aimed to put it out of its misery. After unsuccessfully trying to feed the animal to a python in his classroom, Crosland placed the puppy in an aquarium with the snapping turtle, reports the Idaho State Journal.
As students watched, the turtle dragged the puppy to the bottom of the tank, then began eating it when it drowned. "Obviously we didn't believe the facts amounted to a criminal offense when the law was applied," says Crosland's attorney. "The reality was that there was a ton of misinformation and gossip that were not actual facts or evidence." The state Humane Society disagrees, calling the verdict a "grievous error in judgment," per the Idaho Statesman. Crosland still has his job at Preston Junior High School. (Read more animal cruelty stories.)