A 3-year-old Labrador named Raider reportedly provided comfort to 13 abused children in the year following their rescue and their parents’ trial.
According to CNN, Raider had been meeting with the children since David and Louise Turpin’s arrests in January 2018. The parents’ arrests and their children’s rescue came after 17-year-old Jordan Turpin escaped from the Perris, California, home and called 911 using one of her brothers’ deactivated cellphones.
Authorities said the children—who range in age from 2 to 29—have been allowed to play with Raider on numerous occasions. The Labrador is reportedly the first dog from Canine Companions for Independence to join the Corona Police Department. However, more police departments are adding comfort dogs to their ranks since California allowed for them to take the stand with witnesses in 2017.
The outlet reported that Raider is trained to provide comfort without posing a work distraction.
“When we see him bring a smile to someone’s face or even just touching him, we know that they are getting emotions out that maybe a human wouldn’t be able to do,” one of Raider’s handlers, Sergeant Adam Roulston, told CNN.
Today marked the end of a lengthy criminal proceeding. We were fortunate to work with a forward thinking team of…
Roulston told the outlet that two of the adult Turpin children asked for Raider to take the stand with them Friday as they testified about the abuse they suffered. The pair were reportedly seen petting the labrador pup as they recalled the abuse, which entailed being chained and starved.
Last week, the California couple was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison with parole for the repeated torture and abuse of their children.
“Seeing the way that he does and seeing how he makes people feel better it’s the best reward ever,” Roulston told CNN. “Officers and public safety personnel want to help people and Raider is a tool to help us do that.”
[Featured image: Raider/Facebook]