Lady Gaga, her dog walker and her beloved French bulldogs made headlines this week. Haven’t been following the disturbing saga? Here’s what we know.
What happened to Lady Gaga’s dog walker?
On Wednesday night, a male suspect shot and wounded Lady Gaga’s dog walker, Ryan Fischer, and stole two of her three French bulldogs, Koji and Gustav, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The third dog, Miss Asia, wasn’t taken. The theft happened in Hollywood at approximately 9:40 p.m. PT, police say, and the suspect used a semiautomatic handgun and fled the scene in a white, four-door Nissan Altima.
A horrifying home surveillance video obtained by TMZ shows a man jumping out of a car and confronting the dog walker, saying, “Give it up.” The men struggle, and a shot can be heard, as can a dog’s yelps and the panicked cries of the injured victim. “Help me, I’ve been shot. I’ve been shot,” he screams as he lies on the ground. “Oh my god.”
KABC quotes a representative for Gaga saying Fischer is being treated at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Fischer is in stable condition, according to a police statement Thursday evening that also describes the two suspects in the robbery as between 20 and 25 years old.
Where are the dogs?
The Associated Press is now reporting that both Lady Gaga’s dogs have been recovered unharmed.
According to the Los Angeles police, an unnamed woman — who was not involved with the original theft — brought the dogs to LAPD’s Olympic Community Police Station. Lady Gaga’s representatives confirmed they were Gaga’s dogs.
It’s unclear how the woman came to be in possession of the dogs.
Lady Gaga’s reaction
The singer herself is filming a movie in Italy (see below for more details), but on Friday, she spoke out about the attack for the first time, in an Instagram post.
“My beloved dogs Koji and Gustav were taken in Hollywood two nights ago,” Lady Gaga posted, along with a photo of the dogs. “My heart is sick and I am praying my family will be whole again with an act of kindness.” She offered a $500,000 for the pet’s safe return.”
Gaga went on to praise the injured dog walker, who’s recovering in a Los Angeles hospital, writing, “I continue to love you Ryan Fischer, you risked your life to fight for our family. You’re forever a hero.”
Why would someone steal French bulldogs?
In short, they’re valuable and in demand. Puppies typically sell for between $1,500 and $3,000, but they can sell for far more. This isn’t the first time French bulldogs, known as Frenchies, have been stolen. In November, two French bulldogs were reported stolen from the backyard of a residence in Daly City, just south of San Francisco. And just last month, a San Francisco woman reported being violently assaulted and having her 6-month-old French bulldog stolen.
French bulldogs have big ears, large square heads and compact muscular bodies. The American Kennel Club describes the breed as “one of the world’s most popular small-dog breeds, especially among city dwellers. The Frenchie is playful, alert, adaptable, and completely irresistible.”
Where is Lady Gaga now?
The performer is currently in Rome, filming the new movie Gucci, about the famous fashion family dynasty. Lady Gaga plays Patrizia Reggiani, Italian socialite and ex-wife of Maurizio Gucci, the grandson of Gucci founder Guccio Gucci. Reggiani was tried and convicted of orchestrating her husband’s assassination in 1995. Maurizio had two daughters with Reggiani, but he left her for another woman. Ridley Scott will direct the film, which is based on Sara Gay Forden’s book The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed.
Her fans have used the singer’s social media accounts to express their sorrow about the attack.
“So sorry to read this. I hope your babies are back with you soon,” wrote one fan on an Instagram image of Gaga and her dogs.
The singer’s father, Joe Germanotta, spoke to the New York Post.
“We’re just sick over it, it’s really horrible,” Germanotta said. “It’s like someone took one of your kids.”
Who is the injured dog walker?
According to the New York Post, Ryan Fischer, 30, recently relocated to Los Angeles from New York. One of his Instagram pages, Valley of the Dogs, features photos of what appear to be Gaga’s dogs, as well as plenty of other canines.
The investigation is ongoing. “Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery Homicide Division, Robbery Special Section, are seeking the public’s help in providing any information that would lead to the identification and arrest of violent street robbery suspects,” the LAPD’s statement says.