A 3-year-old Labrador named Raider had an important job last week, when he was tasked with comforting some of the Turpin kids as their parents were sentenced for holding them captive.
A California judge handed down a life sentence to David and Louise Turpin on Friday after they pleaded guilty to 14 counts each, including torture, dependent adult abuse, child endangerment and false imprisonment. The Turpin home became known as the "House of Horrors," after one of the daughters escaped and exposed the parents' abuse.
Some of their 13 children were in court as David and Louise learned their fate. The kids even spoke to the room, with one son saying, "I cannot describe in words what we went through growing up. Sometimes I still have nightmares of things that had happened, such as my siblings being chained up or getting beaten."
The kids had asked that Raider, a facility dog with the Corona Police Department, be by their side as they faced their parents for the first time since their arrest last year. So Raider sat at their feet during the emotional hearing.
Raider has reportedly been comforting the children for months, playing with them as they met with officials in the case. He is specially trained to offer companionship for people without being a distraction, CNN reported. The pup came from Canine Companions for Independence, which trains service dogs, and he is the first from the group to join the Corona Police Department.