Lady Gaga: who is the singer’s dog walker Ryan Fischer, why was he shot - and why were her bulldogs stolen?

Gaga's father told the New York Post The family is devastated over the incident – ‘It’s like someone took one of your kids’

Friday, 26th February 2021, 3:28 pm

A dog walker employed by pop star Lady Gaga has been shot and two of her dogs stolen in an apparent hit and run attack.

Ryan Fischer was walking near his home on West Hollywood's Sierra Bonita Avenue, when he was ambushed and shot in the chest.

Two of Gaga’s French bulldogs were stolen in the attack, which took place on Wednesday (24 February) at around 10pm local time.

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Lady Gaga performs the National Anthem during the 59th Presidential Inauguration for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in January 2021 (Photo: Greg Nash - Pool/Getty Images)

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What happened?

In footage captured by a nearby home surveillance camera and obtained by US tabloid TMZ, Fischer is seen walking Gaga’s dogs when a white Sedan pulls up alongside him.

Fischer moved from New York to LA specifically to help care for Gaga's dogs (Photo: Instagram)

Two people then climb out of the back seat shouting, “Give it up!” as Fischer attempts to fight the attackers off: “No! Help me!” he is heard saying as he struggles with the assailants.

As the altercation goes on, a single gunshot is heard, at which point Fischer falls to the ground as the attackers make off with two of Gaga’s three dogs, Gustav and Koji.

Fischer – who is expected to survive the ordeal, despite having been taken to hospital in a “grave” condition – screams, “Oh my God, help me! I’ve been shot! I’m bleeding out of my chest!”

The third dog, Miss Asia, runs over to Fischer having escaped capture; it was later picked up by one of Gaga’s staff.

According to Entertainment Tonight, Fischer moved to Los Angeles from New York four years ago specifically to walk Gaga's dogs, and is "amazing" at his job and "would do anything" for the dogs he cares for.

Why were they stolen?

Police have said it is not yet known whether Fischer was targeted because of his high-profile client, and investigators are looking for two suspects, one described as a male dressed in a black hat and black hooded sweatshirt.

The gender of the second suspect is not known.

Some have suggested the attack may have been politically motivated, as Lady Gaga sang at President Joe Biden's inauguration in January.

"Lady Gaga is high profile of course but she sang at President Biden's inauguration which takes this case to another level," one source told The Sun.

But financial gain is likely to be the main motivator: regardless of whether or not they are associated with a high-profile celebrity, French bulldogs can be sold for over £1,400 and some breeds can even go up to over £7,000.

How has Gaga responded?

Gaga is not in the US at the moment, having travelled to Rome to work on her latest film project.

The star has reportedly offered a $500,000 reward for the return of her two dogs, “no questions asked”, and an email address for tips has been set up at [email protected]

Gaga's father, Joe Germanotta, told the New York Post that the family is devastated over the incident: “We’re just sick over it, it’s really horrible. It’s like someone took one of your kids.

"Just try to be strong and remember that they’re together,” Germanotta said he told his daughter. “They’re comforting each other.”

How many dogs does Lady Gaga have?

The trio of dogs involved in the altercation are believed to be the extent of Gaga’s collection of canine companions.

Gaga regularly posts pictures of herself and her dogs to social media.