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The French bulldog, dog targeted by thieves in America

In the United States, the French bulldog is the most popular breed of dog…by thieves! In the middle of the street, in a snatch, the latter seize it unceremoniously, sometimes opening fire on recalcitrant owners. Hollywood, where the race is popular with stars, has even become a hot spot for these new kind of kidnappings…

–With AFP–

The two thugs who brutally pointed a gun at Marieke Bayens, a 27-year-old Californian, wanted neither her purse nor her life: they wanted Merlyn, the little dog she was keeping on a leash, because he’s a french bulldog.

From New York to Los Angeles, from Miami to Chicago, flights targeting this canine breed are increasing in the United States. Small, so easy to grab and carry, a French Bulldog sells for thousands of dollars on the black market. Normal, it is the dog of the stars.

The most famous victim is Lady Gaga. Last year, armed men kidnapped two of his “French bulldogs”, Koji and Gustav, not hesitating to open fire, injuring the employee in charge of walking them. The singer offered a reward of 500,000 dollars and finally got her two companions back.


Marieke Bayens experienced a similar trauma in Oakland, while walking Merlyn, given to her by a friend. The assault occurred in the middle of the street on November 26 at 6 p.m. “I was waiting for Merlyn to finish defecating when I saw two people approaching. At first I was not suspicious because they had a mask like everyone else, but I noticed that they wore gray gloves, I found it odd,” the young woman told AFP. “In an instant one planted himself in front of me, pointing his gun in my face. He said to me: ‘Give me the dog!’ “The other had already grabbed Merlyn from the ground and, when I didn’t respond to whoever was holding the gun, he snatched the leash from my hands. They ran to their car and fled down a street against the direction”.

Elsewhere in the country, the police observe the same cold determination among the thieves of “Frenchies”. Last year, Sarah Vorhaus had moved the inhabitants of San Francisco by testifying to the swollen face: the young thirty-year-old had recounted the violent armed attack she had suffered from three men, one of whom had brutally beaten her. before taking Chloe, her 5-month-old bulldog puppy.

A popular, easily marketable breed

Why are French Bulldogs targeted by criminals? First because of their purchase price – 3,500 to 5,000 dollars on average, or even more – and then because it is difficult to obtain them, comments to AFP Brandi Hunter Munden, vice-president of the American Kennel Club. “It’s a breed that doesn’t have large litters and getting them can take time,” says this specialist. “The fact that they are more and more popular explains the increase in the number of thefts. But the use of violence is a new and worrying phenomenon.”

Faced with the wave of “dognapping”, the experts are hammering out instructions to protect their precious doggie: give him an electronic chip, never leave him unattended, keep his identity papers in a safe place, condemn the door flaps for him allowing him to go out, equip him with a GPS collar, be wary of strangers showing up at home… But the most crucial recommendation – and probably the least followed – concerns social networks: avoid at all costs to publish photos there or videos of his pooch that make him easily geolocable.

GPS and microchip

Countless celebrities break free from the rule: actors, athletes, musicians, models, influencers… The fashion of “Frenchies” has won stars like Reese Witherspoon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna, Snoop Dogg, Michael Phelps, Chrissy Teigen or Hilary Duff. No wonder Hollywood has become a hot spot for thefts of

bulldogs. At the end of December, a resident nearly lost his life near Sunset Boulevard. Robert Marinelli was walking Luca, his 8-year-old bulldog, when he was ambushed. Violently hit by two crooks, dragged to the ground by the fugitives’ car, he was hospitalized with extensive burns.

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