Why French bulldogs are being targeted in violent thefts

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – When it comes to dog thefts across the Bay Area, French bulldogs seem to be an increasingly popular target. 

Over the last several months KRON4 has reported this specific breed as being stolen. 

In one case last month, a San Francisco woman was robbed at gunpoint for her Frenchie.

On Thursday, pop-star Lady Gaga is offering a $500k reward after her French bulldogs were violently stolen. 

First off, these dogs are hugely popular in the Bay Area. According to a recent survey done by pet company Rover.com, french bulldogs were the 5th most popular dog in San Francisco.

These dogs are also in high demand and they can be expensive and it appears thieves have caught on to that and are looking to make some quick cash by reselling these stolen dogs.

Adorable French bulldogs have become a hot ticket breed for Bay Area thieves.

Since last summer, there have been several cases, sometimes violent ones, where the dogs have been stolen.

“It’s shocking that this is happening and it’s happened more and more recently,” Dmitry Perkin said.

Dmitry Perkin and Kateryna Zabashta are French bulldog breeders and co-owners of Emma’s Frenchies in Brentwood. 

They say other than Frenchies being small and mild-mannered, making them easy for thieves to snag. The breed is in high demand.

“Frenchies are really cool looking and they have this aura about them that makes you more like a celebrity and that’s why this is happening so you’re attracting attention and with being a celebrity you can attract bad attention,” Perkin said.

These dogs can also fetch lots of money, one with a price tag between $5,000 to $6,000 or a lilac and tan combination which can start at $8,000. 

The most popular pick for customers of Emma’s Frenchies has been the blue nose.

“It’s a certain look to the dog that’s very different than your average Frenchie and if you have a blue Frenchie you’re a pretty good target,” Perkin said.

One of those unfortunate Bay Area targets was Chloe, a blue nose that was stolen at gunpoint in San Francisco’s Russian Hill. 

Sarah Vorhaus told KRON4 she was walking Chloe the night of January 5 when several men attacked her and took off with the dog.

In another case from last summer, a burglar broke into a home in the city and stole a pair 10-week-old puppies.

That same month, a thief in Berkeley took off with a car with this 5-month-old Frenchie in the backseat. The car was later found, but the dog was gone.

Not even celebrities are immune to Frenchie thefts.

Pop-star Lady Gaga’s dog walker was shot in Los Angeles Wednesday night and her two dogs were stolen, prompting the singer to offer a $500,000 reward for their return.

Breeders say the Frenchie community can be pretty tight-knit but the search for these stolen dogs can be difficult.

The best advice for owners is to be aware of their surroundings when out with their dog.

“You’re the boss here. We’re all human beings and we can all be more cautious and we should be,” Perkin said.

There’s now a $20,000 reward for Chloe, who more than a month later, still hasn’t been found. 

A campaign and a website have been set up in hopes of bringing her home.

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