PRESS RELEASE June 13, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Kay L. Young
BRAINTREE – One year after the shooting death of Braintree Police K9 Kitt and the wounding of three Braintree police officers, a new charitable foundation will support K9 teams nationwide by assisting with equipment, training, and public awareness. The K9 Kitt Foundation is named for heroic K9 teams, the “Guardian of the Guardians” in policing. Kitt was struck by three bullets while defending his fellow officers; three rounds intended for each of those officers on the early summer day. In the wake of K9 Kitt’s loss and as a memorial to his service, his partner, Officer William Cushing, has established the K9 Kitt Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)3. The K9 Kitt Foundation’s purpose is focused on providing relief for violently injured K9 Teams around the country, raising awareness, continuing the education and training of handlers, while ensuring K9 Teams are appropriately equipped.
“Kitt was a one of a kind warrior who gave his life defending me and my fellow officers, it in his memory and the warrior mentality he instinctively possessed that we are forming this foundation to aid other K9 teams nationwide,” said Officer Cushing, K9 Kitt’s partner who was wounded in the shootout. The K9 Kitt Foundation will also serve as facilitator, connecting members of the public interested in providing support to K9 Teams around the country who work tirelessly to serve communities and their front-line policing partners who demonstrate a need for assistance. “From great loss, comes great gain”.
On June 4th, 2021, Officer Cushing and K9 Kitt, in their 10th year together, entered a wood line in Braintree searching for an armed suspect with 2 back-up officers. After countless successful tracks and searches leading to the discovery and apprehension of suspects, this track would be Bill and Kitt’s together. Upon locating the suspect, K9 Kitt advanced into a hail of gunfire from the man. Of the 9 bullets fired at the officers, K9 Kitt was struck by 3 bullets, Officer Cushing was struck by 5 bullets and back-up Officer Donoghue was struck with 1 round. K9 Kitt absorbed the first 3 rounds fired as he advanced on the gunman, creating time and distraction which allowed Officer Cushing, Officer Donoghue and Officer Seibert to return fire and fatally eliminate the ongoing threat.
“I lost my partner and closest friend in that Braintree wood line that day, but I’ve been able to recover and move forward because of Kitt’s fearless bravery and sacrifice,” Officer Cushing said.
Follow us at @K9KittFoundation on Facebook and Instagram. To donate to the K9 Kitt Foundation, log onto www.K9KittFoundation.com or Venmo at @K9KittFoundation.