As any dog owner will tell you, their little furry pets are like children. So these animal lovers likely felt the loss Lady Gaga had to deal with when two of her three beloved French bulldogs, Koji and Gustav, were stolen on February 24. Gaga was left reeling after the dogs were taken in an orchestrated robbery involving a gunman who shot Gaga’s dog walker before making off with the pups.
The whole thing sounds like a messed-up caper in an old noir serial, but according to Tara Bruno, the founder of SNORT Rescue, it’s not uncommon. In an interview with People, Bruno explained that French Bulldogs “are among the most stolen dog breeds because they’re very popular, are small and portable, and are expensive,” costing as much as $10,000 for a single dog. Authorities believe Gaga wasn’t targeted, per ABC News; rather, the dogs were for their high value.
According to TMZ, Gaga offered a $500,000 reward for anyone who brought back her babies. Fortunately, the dogs were eventually returned, and the dog walker has since recovered. Los Angeles police arrested and charged five people in connection with the robbery.
There are actually two tragedies related to this story. The dognapping was tragic for Gaga, but on top of that, the reduced media coverage of her dog walker, Ryan Fischer, and his shooting is tragic in and of itself. Yes, dogs were stolen, but a person was shot, which should have been the headline.