Teacher who fed puppy to snapping turtle in front of children found not guilty of animal cruelty


Just imagine the reaction if the teacher had fed the turtle a vaping muskrat!



More editorial than scientific but you get the idea.


Well, you did provide that, which is fairly old at this point, so I am at a loss as to why you are unable to find anything more recent to state your claim.

While it is anecdotal, I am a life long dog owner. My neighbor is the K9 officer for our town. I have seen the dogs they work with, and have never seen cruelty involved. The training they go through is intensive and extreme compared to a house pet absolutely and perhaps even more so than what many working dogs also might see. But my son goes through far more rigorous training and conditioning in a premier soccer program than kids do in recreational soccer…I don’t think it is cruel and inhumane as a result.

More rigorous or intensive is not necessarily cruel…and I have never witnessed or heard of K-9 officer mistreating their dogs. I was personally attacked by my Aunt’s dog when I was young. I remember it well. Everyone was shocked as her Shepard was a loving and loyal house pet she had since he was a pup…but he went after me like I was dinner on a silver platter. She did not train the dog to do so, it did not take any “breaking” to get it to do so.


I had to deal with something like this when I was in high school–a sadistic biology teacher who would feed live chickens to his snakes and turtles while we were taking tests.

I don’t care what he said, or what this man says, there was sadistic pleasure involved. They did it, and did it publicly so that people had to watch.


That’s an entirely different point though…and I would argue we are probably straying off topic.

I do not entirely disagree that the act of training dogs to do the work of a K-9 police dog is holistically cruel; but the point that was put forth and backed up with 20 year old info was that the training and conditions were cruelty. Which I would argue may not be entirely true.

Let me put it this way…the idea of training a human being to be able to kill other human beings (which is what I went through when I was in the USAR) is a cruel thing. But the training the military conducts is not cruel and inhumane. It is rigorous and intensive, but not cruel.

I think this is why we call these things (soldiers or police dogs) necessary evils? I get your point entirely and do not disagree with it though.


If you assume that people arguing against you are doing so out of cultural bias then I can see how it would look like I was arguing with you out of cultural bias.

There are people in the world who find it normal to eat horses and dogs, I don’t think they are any more cruel for doing so than people who eat cows or sheep.

But “Why the hell did you keep a sick dog in your car all day for the purpose of feeding it to a turtle in front of a a bunch of kids?” doesn’t get answered by, “You know, in other parts of the world people don’t have the same attachment to dogs as we do in this country.”

If it was purely utilitarian then why wait for until the students were there? If the point was that the turtle needed to eat then how do you explain that he first tried to feed it to a python and then fed it to the turtle when the python wasn’t hungry? The point of the act was to make sure that highschool kids bore witness to a puppy being eaten.

If you decide to slaughter a cow in front of a Hindu crowd you aren’t just harvesting meat in a utilitarian way, you are going on the offensive against their cultural values. I don’t say that because I believe in Hindu cultural superiority. Shock for the purpose of shock is childish bullshit.

And when you sacrifice an animal for the purpose of shock or to make a point, you may be transforming an act of feeding into one of cruelty.

I actually take @benfranks’s point that this may have been different in a small farm town than in the big city I’m used to. I shouldn’t jump to conclusions about what was in the teacher’s head or how it was read by the students. There are cultural differences not just western vs. eastern, they are all over the place.

But the idea that we can try to judge people’s actions without reference to the culture they exist within is attempting to substitute oversimplified categories for reality. It matters that Americans care more about dogs than about mice when understanding what happened.

(I’ll admit that bringing up how many pounds the fact that Americans value dogs might weight was facetious.)

This all makes me think a bit about a scientist who was known to manually sexually stimulate a dolphin she was training when it was aroused. The dolphin just couldn’t focus when it was horny. I honestly, truly believe she was just doing what made sense in a totally utilitarian way. But if she started sliding it into every conversation she could in the lunch room, I’d start to re-evaluate my idea of her motivations.

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What, the GDPR? I get this on a regular basis

and it isn’t just the Chicago Tribune who do it. Most of them also block Iceland, Norway and Switzerland which have never been in the EU.

Did you force your son to play soccer? Or maybe the dog volunteered to join the police?

I know about professional football training and what it involves. I used to work at Carlisle United, and their training ground was next door to my secondary school. One of my friends who helped me realise that not everyone at my school was bullying me was in the youth team and eventually made it into the first team.


Natural order of things, food chain, and all of that logic be damned. That fucker is a creep and may well have fed more than a puppy to a turtle…he may have fed permission in some young impressionable mind giving a green light to committing harm in the natural order of things. Fuck him. In my view he’s sick and here along the Amazon river there are a lot of hungry creatures. Caiman are always looking for a snack.


When I was a kid my dad picked up a pet rabbit for free in the want ads, probably because my sister wanted one so badly. Anyway, it somehow got an infected wound that was crawling with maggots by the time we discovered it (I’m euphemizing here, the actual issue was something I’d rather not describe, and something one couldn’t just ‘clean’, particularly on a squirming animal), other than going to the vet and paying more money than we could afford we didn’t know what else to do but put it down. My dad, being an old school farm boy who grew up during the Great Depression, put it in a box, cut a hole in the box, and attached it to the car’s exhaust pipe.

I was shocked and disgusted by this method almost as much as I was by the infected wound, but in retrospect I understand why he did it.

So. . . feeding a dying puppy to another animal, while it makes me feel pretty ill, I also understand the cruel logic behind it.


So your stance is that because the dog does not have free-will/independent thought - or more specifically because the dog does not have the higher conscious decision making ability of a human being - that going through rigorous training is therefore cruel? What happens when a child is not given a choice for something they do not want to do - say going to school? For some kids that is stressful and traumatic…is it cruel to put your kid through school? My teenagers would cite cruel and inhuman behavior every time I force them to clean up their rooms.

What about other animals we put through rigorous training? Shepherding dogs, seeing eye dogs, are all service animals of any kind being subjected to inhumane treatment and cruelty simply because they did not have higher level cognitive choice?


Probably off-topic, but I’ve read about that story, and I agree that she (not a trained scientist, but a volunteer) believed she was doing a helpful thing.

Still, it had the opposite effect, as it perpetuated the dolphins’ behavior and complicated the situation, where she could have simply stopped trying to train while he was unresponsive to training and resumed at another time.

After the project lost funding, the dolphin died as the conditions in his enclosure were poor.


Yeah, the unique facts of the story aside, we just shouldn’t keep cetaceans in captivity at all.


And that justifies feeding it to a snapping turtle how? Because RURAL AMURICA? Call animal control, take it to a local vet, have it euthanized humanely. There was literally no reason NOT to do that instead of this. None whatsoever.




yeah, but just think about how much money getting sick the dog saved him on dog food.

the dog was clearly trying to do him a favor - economically speaking - and this man was clearly unable to do the math.

if we really need to reduce emotional considerations to economic ones, we really need to look at the overall picture.

( of course, treating the sick puppy and making it well again would have stimulated the local economy over the long haul - if anything we probably should just feed the teacher to the snapping turtle to resolve his short sightedness. )


Kids have scheduled classes. As a teacher, his first job is to teach those classes, and then fit in all the other administrative stuff like grading and tidying up, and in this particular case, feeding the animals kept in the classroom. So, the teacher attempted to feed the python before classes, and if you know how snakes are fed, they may eat immediately, they may wait a while, either way, it seems that he ran out of time before classes, so rather than have a mewling sickly puppy in a tank that may or may not be eaten through the day, he took the puppy out of class until the next appropriate time. After classes, he attempted to feed the python again, but it wasn’t eating (again, entirely normal for snakes to assume irregular feeding during seasonal torpor or shedding cycles, they generally feed at will), so he fed the dog to the other classroom animal that would prey on it.

The children who witnessed the act of feeding were there extracurricularly, and by every account, had no problems with the decision after discussing the palliative options that were available to the abandoned animal. Were this a squeaking rat, nobody would have a problem with those decisions, but for some reason, we have carved out an exception for certain pets that seems pretty incoherent in light of how we treat larger, smarter animals like pigs and cows.


Really? Where exactly have you been in the last 10 years of free range and ethical/humane methods of farm to table. This lady wants to have a talk with you…


There’s plenty i’d do the same to if I just had a damn lion (I probably shouldn’t have a lion).


we still eat them, dawg

we forcibly breed them and kill them before their natural lifespan, and while we have sanded some of the rougher edges off the process, it’s still not defensible if you assume a certain threshold of agency for these animals


Here’s the thing: we have an undeniable symbiosis with dogs. In many ways, they domesticated us as much as we did them. And that is why it upsets us, this tale, because we feel a kinship with dogs. And it’s part of why we don’t feel the same about, say, mice.

This is not unnatural, it is vary natural. What is unnatural is the way this teacher was able to overcome this hardwired affinity, to justify feeding what feels like a family member to a stranger.