SAN JOSE, Calif. - The recent theft of Lady Gaga’s French bulldogs has put a spotlight on the dangers of owning the popular breed. This week, a San Jose family had their Frenchie stolen right from their front yard.
David Palomino has a warning for French bulldog owners: don't lose sight of them.
"When we first got Rollie, he was just a cute pudgy face dog to us," said Palomino. "We didn’t realize it’s a hot item to steal and make money off of."
Ring video captured the moment a thief grabbed his soon-to-be one year old Frenchie from his front yard in San Jose on Sunday.
He was left there by mistake after not coming back inside the house. The family is offering a $500 reward for his return. No questions asked.
"They are family members not just pets and these people are basically stealing a family member," said Palomino.
All prices vary in color and markings but they start at $5,000 and can go up to $10-15,000," said Erika Cruz, Owner of French Bulldog Fever.
Cruz breeds French bulldogs and said Frenchies are in high demand. According to the American Kennel Club, it’s the fourth most popular dog in the country and not hard to steal.
"They are small, compact short and they are easygoing," said Cruz. "They aren't attack dogs."
Thieves are going to great lengths. Lady Gaga’s dog walker was shot in Hollywood.
Back in January, three men attacked and robbed a woman of her five-month old bulldog as she was walking her dog in San Francisco’s Russian Hill neighborhood.
"Don’t take the same route every day, try not to go out at walks at night," said Cruz.
Ways to avoid buying a stolen Frenchie?
"People who are not wanting to give information on who the parents are, their vaccination record," said Cruz.
The owner of "Hachi" stolen from a San Jose salon tells KTVU he's still missing a year later. The owner bought a new dog not a Frenchie.
"What do you do? Do you weigh out the friendship of a Frenchie versus the safety of your family?" said Palomino.
Rollie’s owner said he has a very distinct cowlick on his left shoulder that is not seen in other Frenchies.
Azenith Smith is a reporter for KTVU. Email Azenith at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @AzenithKTVU or Facebook or ktvu.com.