Sathya Chaib and Lauren Ferraro


It was a regular Wednesday evening walk for a man and his companions beside him. A night not out of the ordinary, had quickly turned into a night of terror, when the noise of gunshots filled the air, just off the streets of Sunset Boulevard. 

The event didn’t go unnoticed, with one forever captured through film. “Oh my God! I’ve been shot…Help me…I’m bleeding out from my chest,” he screamed, according to The Guardian.


 For the motive was not to target the man himself, but something that the man possessed, the dogs. He did all that he could in his weakened state to protect the dogs from the two individuals, but to no avail they were stolen anyway.  After, the thieves took the dogs and disappeared into the night, leaving the man to have no option but to go to the hospital. 


This happened to be the story of Ryan Fischer,  Lady Gaga’s dog walker. Though this story is shocking to many, this is one of the many times that this has occurred in this country alone. 


The dogs are reported to have been found and returned some time ago. ““The woman found the dogs and reached out to Lady Gaga’s staff to return them,” the LAPD said in a statement. “The woman’s identity and the location the dogs were found will remain confidential due to the active criminal investigation and for her safety,” the NBC reported. Lady Gaga did or will give a 500,000 dollar reward for her dogs to return safely. As for the dogwalker, he is said to make a full recovery, and even posted his message about the story and his way to recovery.


Around San Rafael we constantly see missing posters for our neighbors furry friends. However, whether people decide to ignore it or help dog napping is common and happens everywhere, including in San Rafael.


Questions lingering on many people’s tongues are what is “dog flipping”, why does it occur, and how often does it occur. To put into definition according to the American Kennel Club,  “dog flipping” is the act of taking dogs away from their owners in any capacity, and later selling them for a quick profit.


Though according to the American Kennel Club it is reported that over two million dogs are stolen every year, many of the target dogs are dogs of high value such as french bulldogs and bulldogs, the breeds that were apparently stolen from Lady Gaga.


These breeds are targeted the most so the thieves can make a heavy profit from them. Though these justifications don’t cover some scenarios on why dogs are stolen , it seemed to cover many of the current situations.


In some cases, the dogs are stolen for a good reason if there’s abuse involved or mistreatment, but if that’s the case it would be considered rescue if done by a foundation like The Milo Foundation, if a non authorized citizen steals a pet who they presume is being abused they will still suffer the consequences. The best thing to do is report to the authorities. In Marin County you can report it to Marin Humane using the phone number (415)-883-4621. 


Kim Nguyen, former student at TL now a sophomore at American Canyon High, owner of four dogs stated “I feel that dog safety should be taken more seriously. People that steal dogs should take multiple charges and even jail if it were necessary.” Adding on to Kim’s statement, what can we do to decrease the numbers of stolen dogs? 


One of the main ways is to always keep a dog on a leash when walking. Even if the dog is able to follow its owner, securing that the dog is close to you is essential to lower the risks of losing them when distracted. In addition to that, It is also important to never leave your dog unattended, make sure you always have your dog in your eyesight if they are tied to a pole or in a car.


Another thing is to be wary of the people you hire as a dog sitter or walker. People are not always what they seem, so it is a good idea to get a background check for the people that will constantly be left alone with the dog. 


Kim recommends what she does to keep her dogs safe.”I decided to have my dog stay in the house most of the time, using the garage for necessities instead of walking them. Since we have four dogs, there would always be three people walking four of them. I would never give my dogs to anyone that I don’t know or barely related to me.”


It is a good idea to make it abundantly clear that the dog is in possession of the person who owns it. By writing on the collar the owner’s name and phone number will increase the chances of reclaiming the dog, when it is either lost or stolen. If the dog’s name is written, someone will call the dog by their name, making it easier to lure them over.  However the absolute best way to prove that the dog belongs to you is to get a microchip. By doing this it ensures that you are in full ownership of the dog and that thieves aren’t able to remove it easily, which gives your dog more security and protection.