Cornhole tournament dedicated to fallen K-9 raises awareness for police dog issues

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Post by NHGF [Feed] » Tue Jul 20, 2021 4:24 pm

Braintree MA Police Department Hundreds of local residents of Braintree, Massachusetts. showed up for a cornhole tournament and fundraiser to honor the memory of K-9 Kitt, a Braintree police dog who was killed in a recent shootout. The event also drew attention to the serious issues facing police dogs’ injured in the line of duty – an issue hoping to be resolved by “Nero’s law.” On June 3, Officer Bill Cushing and Matthew Donoghue engaged in a shootout with a suspect that left their police dog Kitt and the suspect dead, while they themselves were injured. Kitt, a 12-year-veteran, was credited with saving the officers’ lives. Cushing, with his arm in a sling, threw the ceremonial toss at the event. Kate Young, the event’s organizer and head of the Braintree Beer Garden, said she was approached by Morrey Eglin of Boston Baggo – a cornhole association – to put on the fundraising event. Eglin was inspired to put on the event because of his best friend who works with the Braintree Police Department. “Something like this happens and everyone thinks about how they can help, but they don’t know what to do, so we decided to take the guessing out and provide an environment to help,” Young said. Young hopes the event will become an annual tradition. The event drew attention to “Nero’s law,” a bill named after Yarmouth police dog Nero who was injured in a shooting that led to the death of his handler, Sgt. Sean Gannon.  The bill would allow first-responders and paramedics to treat injured K-9s and transport them to an animal hospital in an ambulance. As the law stands, first responders are prohibited from treating or transporting injured working animals in most situations. Nero fortunately survived his ordeal, even though he had to wait for treatment because the EMT’s were not allowed to help. Kitt was not as lucky. Rep. Steven Xiarhos, who was Yarmouth’s deputy police chief at the time of the incident, explained the personal importance that the bill as for him. “The Nero bill is critically important and very personal to me. I personally attended the funeral of K-9 Kitt and saw the pain in the eyes of the police officers that he saved that horrible day back on June 4.” Xiarhos said he ran for office because of Gannon’s death. So far, the bill has strong bipartisan support and is waiting for a hearing date from of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security. “These animals deserve to be treated when injured and we must make this a reality. Their lives matter,” Xiarhos told the Patriot Ledger.

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