Crime | June 26, 2022 12:40 pm

French Bulldog Theft is a Thing Now, Apparently

It goes without saying, but: stealing dogs is bad

I mean, look at this face.
Martin Dalsgaard/Unsplash

On the spectrum of things that are profoundly Not Okay, threatening people with violence so that you can steal their stuff ranks fairly high, for both ethical and legal reasons. But there’s a new wrinkle in the practice of mugging that’s drawn the attention of The New York Times, and it’s especially unnerving if you’re a pet lover. It turns out that a number of thieves are targeting something other than watches, money or cars these days — instead, they have their eye on French bulldogs.

Arguably the most high-profile example of this came earlier this year, when a group of people shot Lady Gaga’s dog walker and attempted to steal a trio of her French bulldogs. (They got away with two of them.) But bulldog theft isn’t only a problem for celebrities; a new report chronicles the unsettling underbelly of the rise in popularity of this breed of dog.

Writing at The New York Times, Thomas Fuller outlines an alarming situation — one where the rising popularity of French bulldogs (they’re now the nation’s second most popular breed) has ratcheted up demand for them. That, in turn, has led to thefts that seem more out of a heist movie than something involving dognapping. Fuller’s article details one case that involves a group of thieves tracking a woman and her dog for the better part of an hour before threatening her at gunpoint.

This probably goes without saying, and yet: there are plenty of ways to get a dog that do not involve breaking the law. And if we’re at a moment in time when French bulldog owners need to carry weapons to defend themselves when they leave their homes, something feels very wrong with the world.