[UPDATE] Science teacher faces charges after cops say he fed puppy to snapping turtle

Prosecutors in Idaho have charged a Preston Junior High School teacher with a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty over an incident earlier this year that captured global media attention.

Science teacher Robert Crosland is accused of feeding a sick puppy to a snapping turtle during a presentation to a group of students.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, three minor students were allegedly present for the demonstration.

Police did not indicate at the time whether the dog was alive or deceased when it was fed to the turtle. It was the suspect, authorities said, who indicated the animal was ill prior to the incident.

A short time after the initial report, the Idaho State Department of Agriculture confirmed the snapping turtle involved was “euthanized humanely,” a decision officials reached because of the invasive nature of the species.

According to CBS News, Crossland was charged last week in connection with the incident.

If convicted of the criminal count against him, he could spend six months in jail and be ordered to pay up to a $5,000 fine.

A number of concerned parents spoke out against the teacher in the wake of allegations nearly three months ago.

Reports of the inhumane treatment sparked widespread outrage, including petitions to fire Crosland. Others, including some former students, launched a campaign to support the teacher.

Animal rights organizations including PETA have also weighed in on the issue. In a statement, the group referred to Crosland as “a bully who should not be allowed near impressionable young people.”

[Featured Image: Robert Crosland/Preston Junior High School]