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Woman claims a $500k bounty for Gaga dogs' return


APPEAL: Singer Lady Gaga had offered a $500,000 reward

APPEAL: Singer Lady Gaga had offered a $500,000 reward

APPEAL: Singer Lady Gaga had offered a $500,000 reward

Singer Lady Gaga is poised to hand over a $500,000 reward to a mystery woman who returned her beloved French bulldogs kidnapped in a violent street robbery near her home in Hollywood.

Koji and Gustav, thought to be worth up to $10,000 each, were handed in at a downtown Los Angeles police station by an unnamed woman late last Friday.

Authorities believe the woman who handed the dogs in was "uninvolved and unassociated" with the attack - but she is still eligible for the "unconditional" $500,000 and is said to be in contact with Gaga's representatives.

"If you bought or found them unknowingly, the reward is the same," Gaga had said in a post confirming the sum before the dogs were handed back on Friday.

During the abduction on Wednesday, Ryan Fischer, the singer's dog walker, was shot in the chest. A third dog, Miss Asia, escaped and was later found by police.

The singer, real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, has kept silent since the dogs were handed into police. But her reward offer has raised eyebrows. One former FBI agent criticised the decision, arguing it encourages other criminals to steal dogs and return them for outrageous fees.

The police station where the dogs were handed back is in Pico-Union, a neighbourhood known for gang related activity. Officials fear revealing information about the good samaritan's identity could be risky while the thieves remain at large.

The incident is the latest in a recent spate of violent thefts of French bulldogs across the US. The breed is the fourth most popular dog in the country. Dog walkers in LA are now so fearful that they often carry concealed guns, body cameras and even taking jujitsu classes. Others say they will no longer go on night-time walks.

Lady Gaga thanked her dog walker for risking his "life to fight for our family" in an Instagram post. "You're forever a hero," she said.

Fischer is expected to make a full recovery, family members said. "We cannot possibly say enough to thank all of the first responders, nurses and doctors who have worked so tirelessly to care for Ryan," they added.

"My opinion is that it was completely planned," one witness to the attack said. "Everyone here walks their dogs late."

© Telegraph Media Group Ltd (2021)

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Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022]

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