Thursday, February 25: Today, our hearts go out to Lady Gaga and her dog walker, Ryan Fischer. While taking the music icon’s two French Bulldogs for a stroll in Los Angeles on Wednesday evening, two thieves shot the dog walker with a semi-automatic handgun before stealing the singer’s pups, as reported by TMZ. The A Star Is Born actress is offering $500,000 for her pets’ return, “no questions asked,” and the dog walker is in the hospital but is expected to make a full recovery.
Devoted Gaga fans are likely thinking, “But wait, what about her third dog, Asia?” As reported by the outlet, thieves took Koji and Gustavo, but the third pup escaped, and the hitmaker’s bodyguard retrieved him. The dog has starred in numerous campaigns with the 34-year-old, including those for Coach, Tiffany & Co., and Shiseido.
Amid all of this terrifying news, Gaga is far from home, in Rome, where she’s working on the upcoming Ridley Scott film, Gucci. It’s unclear whether or not the assailants were knowingly targeting Gaga’s dogs. Nevertheless, dognapping is not uncommon in the States. According to the American Kennel Club, an estimated two million dogs are stolen each year. The organisation notes that thefts usually involve “high-value” dogs, like French Bulldogs and Chihuahuas. “These types of dogs are easy to grab and run with,” says Tom Sharp, president and CEO of AKC Reunite.
At the time of publishing, the gunman is still loose. The Los Angeles Police Department tells BBC that they are searching for a “possible suspect” who fled the scene in a white vehicle from North Sierra Bonita Avenue toward Hollywood Boulevard. A source close to the singer told CNN, “Anyone who has the dogs can use this email, KojiandGustav@gmail.com to retrieve the reward.”
More to come as additional details emerge.