It's never easy when a dog passes away.  It's even harder when they're a dog that has served his community bravely.

His name was Shield and he was a member of the Buffalo Police Department from 2016 until 2022 when he was able to retire.  Today The Buffalo Police Department announced that he passed away at the age of 11.


Many will know him as the former partner of Lieutenant Crag Lehner who passed away tragically while scuba diving during a training activity in the Niagara River.

Shortly after the passing of Lieutenant Lehner, Shield continued his career with another officer named Matthew Richards.  He was paired with Richards for 5 years before retiring and living out the rest of his life with the Richards family.

K-9 Officers serve their community and their partners bravely every day.  They are not just dogs who work with the police.  They are part of the department.  They have very important jobs that they have to earn.  When they pass, it's not uncommon for them to be given an actual funeral or a ceremony to show them the respect that they've earned.

"I had an opportunity to be around Shield at at calls and he was well known department-wide as one of the best. That was in large part due to the excellent partnership between Shield and his handlers, Craig and Matt. Shield was very special and he will be missed." - Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia

At this point, there is no word on whether there will be a public ceremony to honor Shield.  If they do plan to have one, we will let you know here.

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