Is Dognapping a Common Occurrence?


Kate Van Etten, Design Team Member

I’m sure many of you were just as surprised as I was to hear the earth shattering news about Lady Gaga’s darling dogs. Koji and Gustav were abducted on February 24 in Hollywood under the possession of Lady Gaga’s dog walker. The dog walker was shot and the two French bulldogs were taken. Lady Gaga’s third dog, Asia, was saved. Gaga offered a $500,000 reward to anyone who could find these dogs and ensure their safe return.

The good news is that according to CNN, Gaga’s dog walker is expected to make a full recovery and that as of February 24, Koji and Gustav have been safely returned home. According to TMZ, a woman, who remains anonymous, found the two dogs tied to a pole in an alley and brought them into the police station. It is still unknown who took the Frenchies in the first place.

You hear a lot about dogs getting lost or running away, but rarely about them being taken.

This news got me wondering, “is dognapping a common occurrence?” Apparently it is. Each year, according to Vice, thousands of dogs are stolen out of yards, pet stores and animal shelters. According to ABC 7 News, there have been multiple dog nappings throughout this past year in the Chicago area. 

Just in the past year, ABC reported one dog was stolen out of a car in Elmhurst, one out of someone’s backyard in Harvey, several from a pet store in Aurora, and several more cases like these. 

It is not nearly as common that a dog would be stolen while out on a walk, but that doesn’t mean it never happens. According to ABC 7 News, a woman was attacked while on a walk in Wicker Park, a neighborhood in Chicago, and her dog was stolen from her just this past October. There are also similar instances such as this one that are becoming more common.

So what was the motive behind the dognapping of Lady Gaga’s pups? Sometimes dognapping occurs with the intent to only return the dog for ransom. So maybe that was the reason for the abduction? As of now this remains a mystery.

The moral of this story is to be sure to keep an eye out for dognappers. As long as you keep a close watch on your furry friends, and you aren’t a famous celebrity, there isn’t much to worry about. Thankfully all of Gaga’s dogs are home at last and back to their lavish lifestyles.