2/27/21 UPDATE: Lady Gaga's two dogs were recovered safely on Friday night after the shooting and dognapping. The woman who brought the dogs to LAPD's Olympic Community Police Station appears to be “uninvolved and unassociated" with Wednesday's crime.
2/26/21 UPDATE: On Friday afternoon, Lady Gaga posted about her "beloved dogs" that were taken.
"My heart is sick and I am praying my family will be whole again with an act of kindness," she wrote on Instagram, thanking dog walker, Ryan Fischer. "I will pay $500,000 for their safe return. Email KojiandGustav@gmail.com to contact us. Or, if you bought or found them unknowingly, the reward is the same."
Lady Gaga's dogs — Gustav and Koji — are still missing, and she's "praying" for their return as well as a speedy recovery for her friend and dog walker, Ryan Fischer, who was shot. Fischer, through his family, has broken his silence about the ordeal.
"Ryan is receiving extraordinary care in the hospital right now and his doctors expect him to make a full recovery," his family told TMZ on Friday. "We cannot possibly say enough to thank all of the first responders, nurses and doctors who have worked so tirelessly to care for Ryan."
They went on to thank Gaga, saying she has "shown nothing but non-stop love and concern for Ryan and our family right from the outset. Ryan loves Gustavo and Koji as much as Lady Gaga does; so we join in her plea for their safe return."
Gaga, abroad in Rome working on the Ridley Scott film Gucci, "is beside herself about this situation," a source close to the singer/actress told Entertainment Tonight. "Ryan is not only her dog walker, but also her friend. She is horrified that this happened."
Fischer was walking the dogs on a sidewalk in Hollywood at 9:40 p.m. on Wednesday when a white Nissan Altima pulled up, two men got out and demanded he give up the French bulldogs. Fischer struggled with the suspects, was shot and left screaming in pain on the sidewalk, while Gustav, also known as Gustavo, and Koji were stolen. Gaga's other Frenchie, named Asia, managed to escape.
A photo of Koji, Gustav (who are still missing) and Asia shared by a Gaga fan site:
"Her dogs are her babies and she is completely devastated and sickened by this," the ET source said of Gaga's pets, for whom she's offering a $500,000 reward.
And being around the world is difficult, no doubt especially in a pandemic, rendering her unable to hop on a plane and fly home.
"She feels somewhat helpless because she is far away in Italy, but is doing everything she can and praying for Ryan, Koji and Gustav," the ET source added.
The crime is being investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department's Robbery-Homicide Division, and there are now descriptions of the suspects. Suspect 1 is described as "a male, Black, 20-25 years of age, blond dreadlocks, wearing a black hoodie and armed with a semi-automatic handgun."
The victim struggled with the suspects & was shot once. The suspects took two of the three dogs & fled the scene.
Suspect-1 is described as a male black, 20-25 years of age, blond dreadlocks, wearing a black hoodie, and armed with a semi-automatic handgun.
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) February 26, 2021
Suspect 2 is described as a "male, Black, 20-25 years of age, wearing dark clothing."
Suspect-2 described as a male black, 20-25 years of age, wearing dark clothing.
The owner of the stolen dogs was identified to be the celebrity known as “Lady Gaga.”
The victim is in stable condition.
If anyone has videos/photos of this incident email SAFELATIPS@lapd.online
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) February 26, 2021
The LAPD had also shared an update on Fischer's medical status. He was in critical condition when transported to the hospital, but he's now in stable condition.
The LAPD is asking anyone with videos/photos of this incident email is asked to email SAFELATIPS@lapd.online. Anyone with info regarding the incident is urged to call (213)486-6840 or anonymously share tips at lacrimestoppers.org.
Gaga is offering a $500,000 reward to anyone who has her two dogs, no questions asked. The email to reach out is: KojiandGustav@gmail.com.
One graphic and very disturbing video of the violent incident has surfaced. It's a surveillance video from a neighbor's home and was only released after Gaga's team gave the OK in hopes it would help catch the shooter and bring home her dogs.
Fischer, who has long cared for Gaga's pets, screamed repeatedly after being ambushed and told to "give it up," apparently referring to the three dogs. After a scuffle, you could hear the gunshot and more screaming — as well as yelping as two of the dogs were stolen. Fischer was then left on the sidewalk pleading for help from neighbors, who came to his aid. He is heard telling one that the dogs were taken, saying they belonged to Gaga, but he was clearly in a lot of pain.
An LAPD source told TMZ it's very likely Gaga's dogs were targeted because of her celebrity status. That's because Fischer was just taking a quick night walk with them. Also, it was dark. If it was a random hit to grab the valuable breed of dogs, it would be hard to even decipher the breed in the low light.
It was no secret that Fischer walks Gaga's dogs though. He often shares videos and photos of them on Instagram. He's even taken them to the bustling The Grove in Los Angeles for a Christmas portrait with Santa. Gaga often reshares his photos or tags him in her own posts. She also has an Instagram account for Asia, sharing pictures of her multiple dogs.
Fischer's close friend Dr. Fred Pescatore was interviewed by ET and said Fischer moved to L.A. four years ago, from NYC, specifically to walk Gaga's dogs. He said he's "amazing" at his job and caring of all the animals under his care, which has also included Oprah Winfrey's dogs.
"[He was] incredibly close to them. Incredibly," Pescatore said. "I mean, would do anything for them. It's just heartbreaking and I know he must've been absolutely trying to protect them. ... He would literally lay down his life for any one of our dogs and I certainly hope that that was not the case this time."
Pescatore added, "He was amazing at it. He could get them to do anything he wanted. He would send you videos whenever you were away. He really took care of those dogs like they were his children and they were, I mean, he was unbelievable — kind, kind, gentle man. Very kind and gentle soul. He was actually really an artist and he was actually leaving. He was actually leaving the profession in just a few months. He was wrapping up his gig with Gaga and leaving to go and do his artist thing."
As Fischer recovers, getting the dogs back is the big focus. The TMZ report stated that nobody has been in touch with Gaga or her reps demanding payment for them. Further, the dogs aren't chipped.
There has been some criticism that her $500,000 reward could make celebrity pets a target by thieves. An ex-FBI agent told the Daily Mail, "It's always been an option for opportunistic criminals. But… paying, no questions asked, can open up a Pandora's box of sorts. She should give the investigation a chance. After all, the dogs notwithstanding, a human being was shot."
Gaga hasn't publicly spoken about the shooting and theft. Hours before the incident, she was spotted going into her hotel in Rome, where she's been staying while working on Gucci. And a rep for Lady Gaga has not responded to our request for comment.
Her grandmother, Angeline Germanotta, followed her father in speaking out about the theft though, saying, "It's a cruel world we're living in. I’m praying this young man recovers, and I hope the dogs are found safe and in good health."
Celebrities are showing support, including Martha Stewart, who shared an image of her own Frenchies, writing that "Creme brûlée and Bete Noire are very very unhappy as am I about the dog napping ... and the shooting of the dog walker. We send our best wishes and hope that the dogs are found and the walker recovers swiftly."
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