The French Bulldog theft spike unfortunately hit Culver City last week, as a 10-month-old puppy was stolen from its owner, but was quickly found and returned Saturday by the Culver City Police Department.
The initial incident occurred at the 6000 block of Canterbury Drive at about 7 p.m. on May 12, with the victim and culprit agreeing to a meeting as part of a potential purchase of the puppy as discussed in a CraigsList conversation.
The victim placed the puppy, who was in a crate, in the trunk for views. The culprit responded by brandishing a handgun and stealing the dog, after which he fled on foot, according to police.
Fortunately, the story ends on a happy note, as Culver City Police were able to track down the culprit quickly and retrieve the dog, who did not suffer any major injuries. After a brief chase, the french bulldog was returned to its owner on Saturday, May 15.
That morning, police noted the suspect, who was holding a grey french bulldog similar to the one stolen. After the suspect got into a vehicle with the animal, police attempted to pull the vehicle over. However, the suspect would not comply, and a short chase ensued. The pursuit ended when the suspect collided with another vehicle near Bristol Parkway and Slauson Avenue.
According to police, the suspect then attempted to flee on foot. However, officers were able to establish a perimeter, and the man was taken into custody around 2:45 p.m. A drone was used to assist officers with the arrest.
The dognapping is the latest in a very particular branch of crimes dramatically increasing in frequency: the theft of French Bulldogs. LA County police have seen an uptick in these thefts, and was brought to the public’s attention in February after Lady Gaga’s dog walker was shot in the chest attempting to prevent the theft of two of the singer’s French Bulldogs.
The criminals targeted the dogs in particular for the high prices the breed fetches, not due to the singer’s notoriety, according to police detectives.
French bulldog thefts have also been reported in recent weeks in North Hollywood and Redondo Beach.
The animal organization spcaLA suggests that if you are currently a French Bulldog companion,you microchip your pet and register the most current information. Always keep a file of current photos, vet records, etc. in the event they become lost or stolen.
Additionally, while out for daily walks or in public, be aware of your surroundings or unknown people. If your dog is stolen, contact law enforcement and do not attempt a ransom exchange on your own.
“It’s a shame that people and animals must suffer like this,” said Madeline Bernstein, spcaLA President, “But when the demand drops, so will the interest in being a supplier.”
Bernstein has been a strong voice of education for the seedy practices of the breeding and sales of Frenchies and other highly-coveted dogs. In her 2018 book, Designer Dogs: An Exposé Inside the Criminal Underworld of Crossbreeding, Bernstein discusses the dangers of forced breeding that lead to shorter life spans, grave health concerns, and even the extinction of some dog breeds.
If you are thinking of purchasing a designer dog, reconsider. Instead, adopt and work with an accredited SPCA, humane society, rescue, or shelter. Don’t buy pets on Craigslist or other online marketplaces. They are a breeding ground (literally) for misery and deception.
Finally, consider a shelter pet instead.