Worrying news broke out on Wednesday, February 24, when a gunman shot and wounded Lady Gaga’s dog walker. Following the horrendous act, two attackers stole a couple of French bulldogs belonging to the American singer.
Soon after the crime, the Los Angeles police mobilized its units to look for the dognappers. So far, with no luck.
This week―while on a work trip in Italy―megastar Lady Gaga has offered a staggering USD500,000 prize for the safe return of her beloved pets, Koji and Gustav.
However, ex-FBI agent Frank Montoya Jr. condemned Gaga’s decision, claiming that she’s jeopardizing police efforts. He argues that the famous singer’s reward could spark a spike of celebrity dognappings.
It’s assumed that a person named Ryan Fischer was strolling with the dogs and later shot in the chest at the abduction time. However, it appears that a third dog, Miss Asia, remained uninjured in Fischer’s arms, although visibly shaken and covered in blood.
After a short physical combat, the suspects drove off in a white Nissan, the Los Angeles police said. LAPD believes that the two suspects are men aged between 20 and 25.
Luckily, the dog walker, Ryan Fischer, is slowly regaining his strength and is expected to recover fully.
The Reason Behind the Abduction and Lady Gaga’s Dog Walker
A spokesperson for the Los Angeles police department said on Thursday, February 25, that French bulldogs are in high demand. He went on to add that it wasn’t likely that Lady Gaga was the specific target due to her fame.
Furthermore, locals told the media that a case like this hadn’t happened before in their neighborhood. One male person stated: Somebody got shot over dogs. Come on, man… that’s not OK. Bring the dogs back. I don’t care if they’re Lady Gaga’s dogs or whoever. Those dogs are freaked out. Give the dogs back. It’s not cool.
On that note, buyers could obtain French bulldogs for as much as USD10,000 in case they have a pedigree lineage. Similarly, the American Kennel Club representatives say that the French bulldogs are among the fourth most popular breed in the United States. They are only behind Labradors, golden retrievers, and German shepherds.
What makes them so different from the rest is that they are easier to steal due to their small size.
It’s therefore imaginable that Lady Gaga’s dogs didn’t fall prey due to her status. The abduction could have taken place only for the apparent monetary value of Koji and Gustav.
In the days leading to the attack, dog-walker Fischer―also the owner of a social media account called Valley of the Dogs―posted the dogs’ photos on Instagram. Seemingly not a smart move.
What EP Professionals Have to Say
Protecting a principal’s life, their property, including pets, is probably something that will be worth addressing in the EP industry in the coming weeks and months. One thing’s for sure: This event sparked a heated discussion.
To establish the potential repercussions and the role executive protection could have played in the dognapping’s prevention, we spoke to famous EP professionals Caleb Gilbert and Anton Kalaydjian.
Here’s what they said.
Caleb Gilbert, Head of Security for the CEO of PayPal: Risk mitigation is far more than the distracting allure of the red carpet or the magnetism found in the boardroom.
Risk mitigation should focus on providing principals the peace of mind they need to shine in their respective positions of influence. We should strive to keep them isolated from the distractions posed by preventable risks.
Anton Kalaydjian, CEO and Founder of Guardian Professional Security: As EP professionals, we often try not to scare our clients when explaining the threats that are out there. We know them. We all have seen the ugly side of humanity, and we prepare for the worst and hope for the best in everything we do. From being in high-risk and high-stress environments with our principals to small tasks like someone on our principal’s team walking the dogs.
It’s our job to think, what’s the worst that can happen, and this is an example of something a normal person would think is no big deal (walking dogs) that quickly and unfortunately turned into a worst-case scenario.
Thankfully the victim here is still alive, but murder was attempted. He suffered four shots, could’ve bled out, and may never get over the emotional and mental stress from this incident (PTSD).
Anton Kalaydjian on the Aftershocks and Solutions
Not to mention the two kidnapped dogs who ― whether you’re a celeb or a regular everyday person ― are like family members, and they are terrified and missing. There is a ridiculous mindset of some EP professionals that we are not to hold a bag here or there or walk a dog, etc. This incident shows why it’s ridiculous. I would rather myself or a fellow guard be exposed on the street with these dogs than I would my clients.
We are trained for incidents like this, and most of us are armed as well, which would’ve definitely leveled the playing field. Whether the criminals knew the dogs belonged to the artist or not (one can make a case that this breed is in demand on the black market, and it was a money grab).
I wouldn’t find it hard to believe that they knew exactly whose dogs they were (especially in the days of social media) and if some fans hold on to a sweat towel that artists throw from the stage and cherish them forever. Some people have that same feeling but only much, much darker.
We love fans. Without them, we do not have jobs, and neither do our celebrity clients. However, inside the fan bases, there is a very small number of very dangerous fans who have criminal intent.
We must always remember the word fan is short for fanatic. There certainly is a dark side to it, and that’s one of the main reasons we are here.
If you have any information about the whereabouts of the two lovely French bulldogs, reach out to KojiandGustav@gmail.com. All we can hope for now is that Lady Gaga’s dog walker recovers swiftly and that the perpetrators of this heinous act are brought to justice.
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