It’s unimaginable that anyone would steal someone’s dog. Pets aren’t just property, they’re family, and the idea that thieves would snatch them up just to make a profit is sad and horrific.
There has been a spike in dognappings in recent months, and the most high-profile involved one of the world’s biggest pop stars: in February, Lady Gaga’s dogs were stolen after a robber shot her dog walker Ryan Fischer.
Thankfully, the dogs were returned unharmed and Fischer, after weeks in the hospital, survived the shooting.
And now, it appears justice will be served: according to TMZ, a group of suspects in the case have been arrested for both robbery and attempted murder.
Gaga’s bulldogs, Koji and Gustav, were taken on February 24, after a male suspect approached Fischer with a semi-automatic handgun and shot him in the chest.
The “Poker Face” singer was filming a movie in Rome at the time, and put up a half-million dollar reward for their return. A third dog, Asia, reportedly ran off from the scene and wasn’t taken.
Soon, the dogs were recovered, unharmed. According to AP, a woman had apparently found the dogs tied up in an alley, and contacted Gaga’s representatives to return them.
But according to TMZ, the woman who found the dogs was among the suspects arrested. Police had had their suspicions about her involvement, and had advised Gaga not to pay the $500,000 reward.
A police source told the site that the arrested suspects are believed to be part of a dog-stealing ring. French bulldogs are worth a lot, and are a frequent target of thieves.
They also say the alleged dognappers got nervous by the publicity around the case, and attempted to get the reward money instead.
Fischer has been in recovery following “a very close call with death” following the shooting.
He previously released a statement thanking everyone for their well wishes, and thanked police and investigators in the case: “I know they are committed to bringing these criminals and attempted murderers to justice,” he wrote on Instagram on March 1.
Fischer and Lady Gaga will be very happy to know that the suspects have been arrested, and will hopefully soon face justice for this horrific crime.
It’s a scary story, and a reminder to be on alert while walking your pets — dog-nappings are a scary reality for pet owners.
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