A woman walking her French bulldog was held up at gunpoint Wednesday night by three men who snatched her dog and fled in a car, the latest pet-theft incident near the spot in Hollywood where Lady Gaga’s bulldogs were stolen this year.
The pet owner and the dog, named Mona, were on a walk on North Detroit Street near Fountain Avenue when people in a vehicle spotted Mona and stopped, said a family member, Elisabeth Staroselskaya.
Three men got out of car and approached them with guns drawn, Staroselskaya said Friday evening.
Mona shook her leash and fled, but one of the gunmen caught up to her. All three drove off with the dog.
Staroselskaya and her boyfriend’s family have been spreading the word in the hopes someone returns Mona safely. The dog is 3 years old and has a malformation in her spine and chronic urinary tract infections that require daily medication.
Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman Norma Eisenman didn’t immediately have information about the case. Staroselskaya, who spoke with detectives, said police told her they are looking through video footage of a nearby gas station where the suspects turned a corner.
The family is offering a $5,000 with no questions asked for the safe return of Mona. The family has even sent messages to Lady Gaga on social media, hoping she will spread the news.
Lady Gaga’s own French bulldogs were stolen in February while they were being walked about one mile away. The actress’s dog walker was on the 1500 block of North Sierra Bonita Avenue when two men jumped out of a white sedan and demanded he give them the dogs. The dog walker was shot during the robbery.
The dogwalker was hospitalized and recovered, and the dogs were later returned.
Staroselskaya hopes for the same outcome.
“We don’t want anything else but her,” she said.
Mona’s owner, who doesn’t wish to speak to media, is in shock, Staroselskaya said. Mona was a gift after another one of her sons, Yuriy Stratovich, and Staroselskaya, his girlfriend, moved out of her home to keep her company. The two would go on several walks every day and watched TV together on the couch.
“She’s completely heartbroken,” Staroselskaya said.
Stratovich and Staroselskaya are now afraid to go on walks with their Maltipoo, Chanel.
“It used to be safe,” she said. “It’s turned into a completely scary neighborhood.”