Yes, Shield was named after Officer James Shields and YES, Officer Shield’s son has named his puppy, Lehner. Our interview with Mike Shields.

I’ll admit it – when I saw this story on Channel 4’s website last night, I got teary eyed.  The family of Officer James Shields named their puppy – Lehner.


What a beautiful gesture. Just beautiful.

I wanted to know more about why it was important to do this.. about what it means.. and about what kind of puppy little Lehner is.


I remember when Officer Jim Shields was killed in the line of duty. I was working at Channel Two at the time. It was incredibly sad. I did several follow-ups over the years, too.  Including several with his partner, Kimberly Monteforte.

It’s always heartbreaking when someone dies – but when they die protecting us – it devastates the entire community. It did back then with Officer Shields. And it did last month with Officer Lehner.

It’s been 15 years since that tragic day. And of course, the loss of Officer Craig Lehner must have brought so many awful memories for all involved. Including members of the Buffalo Police Department.




Shield was named after Officer Jim Shields. An incredible honor. An honor that meant the world to the family of Jim Shields. Mike Shields told me tonight that he will never forget the Craig Lehner’s gesture, “It brought back a lot of memories. I️t was very meaningful to hear how much research he put into trying to choose a name. Based on the research between my dad and Officer Lehner, naming his K9 Shield really did seem fitting. Again, it was an honor and moving that he chose the name Shield.

And now, you could say the Shields family is returning the honor. For Mike and Maria Shields it was a no-brainer, “It was important to name the dog Lehner because we were moved and honored by Officer Lehner’s naming of his K9 “Shield”, ensuring fallen officers will always be remembered and never be forgotten. Once the tragedy occurred, it was natural for us to want to repay to him what he did for our family.”
As for Lehner, he’s new to the family – but already making himself at home. Already making everyone happy, “We brought the pup home on Sunday. He Is catching on so quickly. He absolutely loves to be around people and is so playful with our nieces and nephews.”
Hopefully Lehner and Shield will meet someday.  Now wouldn’t that be special. Mike Shields says that is absolutely something he is open to!!!  I’ll work on it, guys!
Mary Friona


  1. Hello! I love this article and thought you might be interested in an event at Cheektowaga Middle School 11/22 from 1:30-2:30. Jim Shields graduated from CCHS with me. Our middle school is raising $ for Officer Lehner & K9 Shield to honor our Alumnus, Jim Shields. The volleyball tournament is CPD vs school staff. We’d love to have you do a story on it!
    Thanks for taking the time to read this.
    My cell number is 716-713-3189 and school staff organizing are Jill Orlowski & Kate Barbati at the Middle School. We’ve affectionately called this, ‘from our family (CPD/CCSD) to your family (BPD/Lehner/Shields) #onceawarrioralwaysawarrior

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