Authorities say two dogs found in the home where 13 children were allegedly discovered chained and malnourished in Perris, California, are healthy and trained.
While it is alleged that the 13 children of David and Louise Turpin were rarely fed and allowed to shower just once a year, the same cannot be said for the couple’s pet Maltese terriers.
The two female 1-year-old pups – one of whom is named Fluffy – are not only healthy, someone has taken the time to train them.
“The animals, one white and one black, appear healthy and friendly and are leash-trained, according to Christina Avila, a senior animal control officer,” a press release from the City of Perris said.
Authorities released images of the two seemingly well-fed sweater-wearing dogs as the canine siblings are being put up for adoption.
Expecting high interest in the pair – who must be adopted together – the City of Perris will hold a raffle to place the dogs in a new home, according to the release.
The dogs’ previous owners, the Turpins, were arrested after their 17-year-old daughter climbed through one of the windows of their Perris, California, home early on Sunday and called 911 using a disconnected cell phone she had found, authorities have said.
Police allege that thee 13 Turpin children — ranging in ages from 2 to 29 — were found living in squalor, with some “shackled” to furniture.
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
On Thursday, a prosecutor characterized the abuse the married couple allegedly inflicted on their children over a period of at least seven years as torture that included beatings, starvation and strangulation.
Speaking to reporters Thursday, Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin alleges that the Turpins allowed the children to shower no more than once a year and none had “ever” seen a dentist, he said. They last saw a doctor more than four years ago, he said, and were fed very little.
Hestrin said the children suffered “severe caloric malnourishment.” Supposedly home-schooled, he said the kids “lacked a basic knowledge of life” when they were recovered from the Turpin residence.
The 29-year-old female victim, Hestrin said, weighed 82 lbs. when she was found.
Bizarrely, however, he said David, 56, and 49-year-old Louise allegedly purchased enough food for themselves and would leave some of it, including pies, out on the counter where their children could see — but could not eat it.
• For more compelling true crime coverage, follow our Crime magazine on Flipboard.
Hestrin said Thursday that the couple now faces 12 counts each of torture as well as seven counts of abuse of a dependent adult, six counts of child abuse or neglect and 12 counts of false imprisonment.
David is additionally charged with one count of lewd act on a child under the age of 14 by force, fear or duress.