While authorities have not named Lady Gaga’s dog walker who was critically wounded during an armed robbery on Wednesday night, a close friend and former client of the animal handler has publicly identified the injured man as Ryan Fischer and says he “would literally lay down his life” for those in his care.
Fischer, who previously walked dogs in New York, moved to Los Angeles about four years ago to specifically to walk Gaga’s canine pets, Dr. Fred Pescatore said.
“[He was] incredibly close to them. Incredibly,” Pescatore said of the 30-year-old’s relationship with the dogs. “I mean, would do anything for them.”
“It’s just heartbreaking and I know he must’ve been absolutely trying to protect them,” Pescatore, whose own dog had been walked by Fischer for seven years in N.Y., said. “He would literally lay down his life for any one of our dogs and I certainly hope that that was not the case this time.”
Describing Fischer as “amazing” at his job, Pescatore added that the dog walker “really took care of those dogs like they were his children and they were, I mean, he was unbelievable — kind, kind, gentle man.”
“He was actually really an artist and he was actually leaving. He was actually leaving the profession in just a few months. He was wrapping up his gig with Gaga and leaving to go and do his artist thing,” Pescatore said.
Gaga’s dogs were stolen around 9:40 p.m. on Sierra Bonita Avenue in Hollywood, during which Fischer was shot and critically wounded.
The Los Angeles Police Department says there is at least one suspect: a male who used a semi-automatic handgun and was seen leaving in a vehicle going northbound toward Hollywood Boulevard. The dogs are still missing.
The LAPD’s robbery/homicide division has taken over the case.
A rep for Lady Gaga, who is currently in Italy, confirms the victim was the singer’s dog walker and the two dogs were her French bulldogs, Koji and Gustav.
The rep has also confirmed that Gaga is offering a $500,000 reward for information about the dogs.
Those with information on the case should email [email protected], the rep says.