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Lady Gaga's father calls shooting and dognapping a 'disgusting act'

“The whole family is devastated, it’s totally unexpected,” Joe Germanotta, father of the Oscar-winning pop star, said.
60th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Backstage
Joe Germanotta, father of Lady Gaga, said the dog walker is "going to be OK" after he was shot earlier this week.Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for NARAS
/ Source: NBC News

Lady Gaga's father, Joe Germanotta, is speaking out over the theft of the pop star’s two French bulldogs after an armed man shot and struck the singer’s dog walker Wednesday evening.

Germanotta told NBC News on Friday that “the whole family is devastated” after the "unexpected loss."

"It's a disgusting act," he said. “If (the thieves) are listening, please don’t hurt those dogs and please return them. They haven’t done anything wrong.”

When asked how Gaga was coping while she was away filming in Rome, Germanotta said, “It makes it even more difficult.”

He said that the dog walker, who was not publicly identified by authorities, was “out of intensive care” and that he was “going to be OK.”

A family member identified the shooting victim as Ryan Fischer, NBC Los Angeles reported.

Los Angeles police said Thursday that a 30-year-old man was walking three of Gaga’s dogs when an unknown male shot him about 9:40 p.m. local time in the 1500 block of North Sierra Bonita Avenue. The dog walker was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he was stable Thursday evening, police said.

Authorities in the police department's robbery-homicide division are searching for the shooter, who they said used a semiautomatic gun and sped from the scene with two of the three dogs in a white Nissan Altima. The third dog is safe. Video from the scene shows an officer holding the black French bulldog in a blanket and putting it inside a police car, according to NBC Los Angeles.

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Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, is offering $500,000 for the return of the two French bulldogs, Koji and Gustav, “no questions asked,” according to two sources close to the Oscar- and Grammy-winning artist.

“Anyone who has the dogs can use this email — — to retrieve the reward," the sources said.

Germanotta reiterated his pleas to the suspects.

"Please don't hurt those animals. Let them go," he said.

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