For most of us, our dogs provide emotional support on a regular basis. From being our constant companion to cuddling close when they sense we are sad. Our pups are there for us when we need them most. For the children of David and Louise Turpin, companionship from one police dog got them through the harrowing ordeal of testifying against their parents.
Raider is a Yellow Labrador. He works for the city of Corona, California, as a Facility Service Dog. Some of his job duties are to ease stress for crime victims and provide gentle support.
Raider has been meeting with the 13 Turpin siblings since their parents were arrested in 2018. The children escaped the unimaginable. When authorities found them, they reported the children were isolated from the outside world. They were frequently denied showers, medical care, and food.
After the children were rescued, the Corona city police introduced them to Raider. They played with the pup many times throughout their numerous trips to courthouses, prosecutors’ offices and other legal appointments.
One of Raider’s handlers, Corona Police Sgt. Adam Roulston, told CNN, “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.”
Last week the Turpin children faced another extremely stressful situation: their parents’ sentencing hearing. Roulston told CNN that one of the Turpin children asked if Raider could accompany them to the hearing. The request was granted. So, the children took turns petting Raider as they listened to the judge. He sat still by their side when two of them offered testimony.
The Turpin children aren’t the only people Raider supported. He helped other victims reduce anxiety and comforted them. Roulston told CNN Raider played with other victims, let them pet him and showed them how he can draw from a deck of playing cards.
Raider is a three-year-old Lab. He joined the Corona Police Department in 2017. Roulston and police dispatcher Erin Lennox take Raider to his commitments, including court appearances, hospital visits and supporting witnesses of crimes.
“Seeing the way that he does and seeing how he makes people feel better it’s the best reward ever,” Roulston said. “Officers and public safety personnel want to help people and Raider is a tool to help us do that.”
Featured Image: CNN
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