The suspects who stole Lady Gaga's dogs and injured her dogwalker are pleading not guilty.
Dog lovers everywhere were heartbroken when Lady Gaga's dogs, French Bulldogs Koji and Gustav, were dognapped in Hollywood, leaving Asia with the injured dogwalker. The pop star had offered $500,000 for the safe return of the two pups. Thankfully, the Los Angeles Police department arrested the suspects.
Charges Against the Dognappers
According to NPR, James Jackson Jaylin White and Lafayette Whaley were involved in Fischer's actual robbery and shooting. According to the district attorney's office, they are being charged with attempted murder, conspiracy to commit a robbery, and second-degree robbery. Jackson, a felon, is also being charged with possession of a firearm.
Harold White and Jennifer McBride were accessories to the kidnapping of the singer's dogs and are being charged with attempted murder. McBride brought Lady Gaga's dogs to an LAPD police station and handed them to a police officer.
According to the Associated Press, officers believed she was not related to the case at the time. However, officers determined she had a relationship with White's father.
According to the LAPD police report, before perpetrating the violent theft and shooting of Lady Gaga's dog walker, the suspects followed Fischer. Once they grabbed the two dogs, they sped off in a white sedan.
In the felony complaint, it is noted that the suspects are all documented gang members. The singer's representatives confirmed the dogs were hers as Gaga is not currently in California. She is in Rome, filming a new movie, House of Gucci.
All five suspects will be due back in court on May 11, 2021.
How is Lady Gaga's Dog Walker?
The singer's dogwalker Ryan Fischer was shot multiple times in the incident. Fischer stated on social media that he recovered at the hospital from his injuries reasonably quickly. Upon being released, his lung collapsed, forcing him to return to the hospital. While he was at the hospital, the lung continued to collapse before doctors could get it stabilized after surgery.
In an Instagram post, Ryan Fischer said,
"It became quite clear that my lung was not healing, and the bullet wound had scarred my tissue like a burn," he wrote. "It could take months, if ever, for the hole to seal. Lunches of grilled cheese and tomato soup and art walks blurred into one until the day came to remove portions of my lung."
It was a very close call for Fischer, and now he is working on his mental health. He said, "working through trauma is WAY more than dealing with one unfortunate moment in life."
In response to the shooting of her dogwalker, Gaga posted on Instagram:
"I continue to love you, Ryan Fischer, you risked your life to fight for our family. You're forever a hero."
The police officers believe that the dog walker was targeted because of the breed of the dog, not who their owner was. French Bulldogs are incredibly expensive and popular. Some sell for as much as $4,000. In 2020, French Bulldog sales went up 225 percent during the height of the pandemic. According to the AKC, the breed was the most popular in New York City and is incredibly popular in the UK.
Is Dog-Napping a Common Occurrence?
Dog-napping is relatively common, and according to the AKC, it is becoming more prevalent. Thieves will take dogs from people's homes or offices and sells them for a profit.
To keep your dog safe, do not keep it in the car or leave them alone out in front of a store. It is easy for thieves to grab them from both of these locations. Also, if your backyard is accessible from the street, you may want to keep a closer eye on your pup while they are outside so they do not get lured away by dognappers.
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