In February, Ryan Fischer was shot in the chest while out walking Lady Gaga’s two french bulldogs, Koji and Gustav. The dogs, each worth several thousand dollars because of their expensive breed, were dognapped, prompting Gaga to offer a $500,000 reward for their return. The New York Times is now reporting that five people have been arrested and charged for their role in the plot to kidnap Koji and Gustav. Three of the alleged dognappers are also being charged with attempted murder for shooting Fischer, who had to have part of his lung removed after the incident. Of the three facing attempted murder charges, two of them are teenagers.
Investigators say that the dognappers were unaware that Koji and Gustav belonged to Gaga specifically; they were targeted instead because of the high value of French bulldogs. The average Frenchie, if purchased from a puppy mill, can cost about $2000, but one with good breeding and the paperwork to prove it can run up to almost $100,000. That’s not including the costs incurred to actually care for these dogs, who often have respiratory issues because of their adorable squished snouts.
The plan to steal the dogs and sell them fell apart, police tell the Times, when one of the defendants returned the dogs to a local precinct after hearing of Gaga’s reward. Jennifer McBride reported that she’d found the dogs and attempted to claim the reward, however, police found that she had a relationship with one of the men directly involved in the dognapping. McBride is charged with being an accessory after the fact as well as one count of receiving stolen property. All of the defendants are expected to be arraigned on Thursday.