This Police Dog Comforted The Abused Turpin Children As They Testified In Court
The 13 abused children of David and Louise Turpin were involved in a lengthy and traumatic trial that saw their parents receive life sentences -- they were comforted by a companion dog known as Raider the whole way through.
Raider (full title 'K9 Raider II') is a certified facility dog who works within the Corona Police Department in California.
The Labrador was assigned to work with the 13 Turpin children in court during a lengthy trial that ultimately convicted David and Louise Turpin of 14 counts of child endangerment, torture, child abuse and wrongful imprisonment.
Raider, who has his own Facebook and Instagram accounts, sat beside the children in Riverside Superior Court and prosecutors' offices to provide emotional support.
Raider sat beside the two eldest children, who are now 27 and 30 years-old, as they testified against their parents, describing the years of torture and abuse the children endured.
The Turpin children apparently requested specifically that Raider accompany them in court on the day of their parents' sentencing and took turns alternately patting the dog.
The Raider Facebook account posted that the dog and his team "met the Turpin children from the start and were welcomed with open arms by them."
"They treated me with such love and affection every time we met. I wish them all the strength and wellness and hope to visit with them again someday!"
The world became aware of the Turpin children's suffering in January 2018, when the 17 year-old daughter managed to escape the house through a window and call 911, telling the operator her siblings were shackled to beds, abused, and deprived of bathing.
The 13 Turpin children were aged between two and 29 years-old at the time of their parents' arrest and were found to be severely malnourished and developmentally stunted by their abuse.
David and Louise Turpin will be behind bars until at least 2043. Judge Bernard J Schwartz has denied them both any contact with the children, stating that their actions were "selfish, cruel and inhumane".
The Americans with Disabilities Act provides for the use of service animals in court but not for animals defined as "emotional-support" and animals in court aren't covered by any court legislation.
However, there has been an increasing movement in courts to allow children to have these dogs beside them in US courts to help calm them while they testify.