For most, jury duty is either a tedious experience or a heavy burden. Luckily for the jurors in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial, there's a perk that makes it all worth it: daily cuddles from Turks, the Montgomery County Courthouse therapy dog.
Through a collaboration with Canine Partners For Life, a therapy agency in nearby Chester County, Turks joined the courthouse team in early 2014 when she was just two-years old. Since then the fox-red labrador has happily fulfilled her duties as professional snuggler for victims – particularly young children – to help them through the trauma of testifying.
Over the last fortnight, Turks has faced one of her biggest challenges yet: comforting the jurors sequestered for Bill Cosby's high-profile sexual assault trial. As they deliberate, Turks provides much needed cuddles as jurors spend weeks away from their families. Handler Kiersten McDonald, an investigator for the Montgomery County Detective Bureau, says she was not surprised to hear the jury requested Turks; the affectionate pup has celebrity status in the community.
"She's the queen of the courthouse," McDonald told NBC Philadelphia. "She makes people laugh all day long."
Although Turks only appears during lunch hour, her visits are a welcome break for both jurors and witnesses facing long days of testimony.
"The finest in service. Thanks Turks," tweeted Andrea Constand, Cosby's chief accuser.
But Turks doesn’t just have a track record in popularity – all trials she’s attended have ended up with guilty verdicts, including Cosby's.
When she’s away from the courthouse, Turks can be found chasing her adopted brother and sister around the backyard at home, but at work, she’s in her element.
"Turks loves her assignments," said McDonald. "I promise you she is the most spoiled dog that you will ever meet."
You can keep up to date with Turks' antics at her personal Twitter page, @k9turks.