The owner of a French bulldog stolen today in a violent attack in the hills above West Hollywood is offering a $10,000 reward for the dog’s safe return.
Luca, a tan 8-year-old French bulldog, needs daily medication, has a special diet and is missing a toe, his owner Robert Marinelli said.
“I’m just completely distraught,” Marinelli told ABC7. “Someone has just ripped my heart out.”
Marinelli and Luca were on a morning stroll around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday on the corner of North Wetherly Drive and Shoreham Drive, north of Sunset Boulevard, when Marinelli was attacked by a suspect who grabbed Luca and began to flee in a black car.
Marinelli tried to rescue Luca and was dragged by the car, which left him with injuries to his back and legs. The incident was captured by neighborhood surveillance cameras.
“I had a big bump on my head that I had to get a CAT scan for and more abrasions on my arms and legs,” he told CBS2.
The Los Angeles Police Department was investigating the incident as an assault and robbery case, the station reported. The department did not immediately reply to a request for comment Tuesday night.
Thieves have increasingly targeted owners of the expensive French bulldogs, including a high-profile case in February in which two of singer and actress Lady Gaga’s dogs were stolen from her dog walker at gunpoint.
But Marinelli said that while he loves Luca, the dog’s health issues mean it’s “not like (he’s) Westminster French bulldog.”
Anyone with information on Luca’s whereabouts was asked to call Wes at 646-499-0863, or Robert at 646-207-4829.
“Just the whole thing seems so bizarre it’s like surreal,” Marinelli told CBS2. “But [the suspect] was definitely there waiting for me. “Please return the dog unharmed,” he pleaded to the thief.
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