Lady Gaga’s dog walker Ryan Fischer is opening up in depth about the February dognapping and shooting that changed his life, as well as his current relationship with the star. In his first interview since the incident, Fischer gave Rolling Stone a play-by-play of what happened the night he shot walking Gaga’s three dogs and why he would later say he felt “abandoned and unsupported.”
Walking Gaga’s trio of French bulldogs, Miss Asia, Gustav and Koji, Fischer picked up a bottle of champagne before heading back to his apartment at 9:40 p.m. Suddenly, a car that had been trailing him – with Jaylin White, 19, James Jackson, 18 and Lafayette Whaley, 27, inside – came to a stop in the middle of the street, grabbing Gustav and Koji as Miss Asia hid under a bush. Fischer recalled fighting back with the champagne bottle, but was choked and shot.
“My mind started working really quickly,” he said. “I really had to weigh my options – do I say who the dogs belong to? Because if I do, it adds more media attention. I was bleeding out and that was the thought that was going through my head. What’s the best way to do this so the dogs can be found?”
Neighbors who heard his screams would call 911, and Fischer was transported to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he would learn the bullet had pierced his lung. The dogwalker recalled being conscious “as they’re putting chest tubes in and doing repairs on me, I could hear my blood pressure drop. And I saw their faces just drop.” He would eventually be placed on a ventilator in the ICU, having also suffered broken ribs.
Gaga was in Italy at the time filming House of Gucci, but would offer a $500,000 reward on Instagram after being informed of the dognapping by police. The next day, the dogs were returned and five arrests were made in the case, also including White’s father, Harold White, 40, and his girlfriend, Jennifer McBride, 50, the woman who turned in the dog.
“The Haus [of Gaga] sent so many balloons from Italy” to the hospital “that the ICU said it’s a fire hazard,” Fischer recalled of the singer’s initial response to the incident, adding he would stay at Gaga’s Hollywood Hills home after being discharged, where she sent a trauma therapist to work with him a number of times.
Fischer’s relationship with Gaga came into question when he began a GoFundMe seeking $40,000, admitting he had been feeling “abandoned and unsupported.” He spoke coyly of the situation: “They’re my friends, and I love them and they’re absolutely there for me. I have nothing but gratitude for everything. It’s just a weird situation just because of how it’s evolved in the media. But I’m very grateful for my friendships.”