Therapy Dogs to Work During Lehner Visitation

Over 70 Volunteers Responded to Help When the Call was Made


Hamburg, NY (WBEN) - Visitation hours for Officer Craig Lehner are set to be held Monday and Tuesday at the Lakeside Memorial Funeral Home in Hamburg.

The visitation will be open to the public from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m, and nearly 100 service dogs will be on hand working both days in an effort to comfort those in attendance.

"Our coordinator of the program reached out to the funeral parlor and asked them toask the family if they would be interested in having therapy dogs at the memorial services or at the wake," said Gina Browning of the SPCA serving Erie County. "They were extremely interested, so we have about 46 dogs working hourly shifts at the wake Monday, and about another 50 who will be at the wake Tuesday."

In addition to serving on the underwater recovery team, Lehner was a K-9 officer. His partner, Shield, is waiting to be paired with another officer.

"The fact that we put the call out to our volunteers , and within about 15 minutes had more than 70 people responding, it shows that we're a community that works together," Browning said.

For those planning on attending the visitation, there will be off-site parking available at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Hamburg and the Woodlawn Beach parking lot in Blasdell.  A shuttle will be available at each location to take people to the funeral home and then back to their cars.

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