ATLANTA - Animal rights activists said thieves are targeting French bulldogs and can resort to violence against their owners to get the expensive pets. Private investigators said Lady Gaga and her dog walker's scary situation was similar to what has taken place in metro Atlanta for years.
Surveillance video shows the moment singer Lady Gaga's dog walker was shot and at least one of her French bulldogs were stolen. The video from TMZ shows a white sedan pull up, two men take two dogs, and one shoots the dog walker-- who, at last check-- was hospitalized in critical condition.
Animal activists said thieves view French bulldogs as an enterprise.
"People pay $2,000 up to $10,000 for these dogs. We look around and think 'oh that's a cute dog,' but someone else sees a dollar sign and thinks it's like a Rolex 'I'm going to go grab it," animal activist Caroline Hunter said.
Last summer, a man was held up at gunpoint at a park on Mayson Turner Road-- Atlanta police confirm his French bulldog was also stolen.
In December, a small dog named Ham, was stolen near Cabbagetown, right from his owner's home. That dog was returned after the owners worked with a private investigator.
That PI said the criminals are bold.
"We got a call for two French bulldogs that were stolen out of a 'Vette in Buckhead," private investigator Craig Brazeman said. "We found one of those dogs in Miami. We've seen people are willing to see a dog in the window and break in the house."
"I carry a personal carry license and I carry a weapon. I feel like it's necessary at some point, for your safety or your own safety," Scott Meyer said.
Meyer reported his French Bulldog Jack Jack stolen to police. He says the one-year-old puppy was taken from his DeKalb backyard in December.
"Since I've put out just a measly $1,000 reward two times I've responded to people who said they had it and they tried to rob me," he said.
Meyers said he feels anyone with a French bulldog should be aware.
"The more publicity it gets it's great. Maybe someone will see him. He's got the big number 7 [in white on his chest]," Meyer said.
"At the same time, Lady Gaga is offering half a million dollars. If I had that kind of money I would offer it too. I get it. But all along it perpetuates the madness," he said.
Anyone who may know anything about Jack Jack's whereabouts, give DeKalb County police a call.
Both Atlanta and DeKalb County police said they encourage all pet owners to be vigilant while walking them.
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