Friday, October 6, 2023, 5:22 a.m
COSTA MESA, Calif. (KABC) — Dog theft appears to be the case is becoming more and more common, sometimes with violent means.
Just last month, a disturbing video showed a man and a woman knocking down, attacking a dog owner and stealing their dog at a 7-Eleven store in North Hollywood.
And in one of the most famous cases in 2021, Lady Gaga’s dog handler was shot and her French bulldogs stolen while they were walking on the street in Hollywood.
In both incidents, the suspects were found and arrested and the dogs were returned.
But that’s not always the case.
The American Kennel Club says millions of dogs are stolen every year and, in most cases, never recover. And last year, thefts rose 40%, the group says. French Bulldogs are the most popular stealers, followed by the Yorkshire Terrier and the Labrador Retriever.
One possible solution: an armed dog handler.
Carol Salvatierra is a former Santa Ana police sergeant and dog lover who founded her own company to provide an extra level of protection for our furry best friends.
rope & Sign costs $60 per hour, depending on the services needed, which can include not only walking but also exercise and sitting at home. She also gives dog owners safety tips.
Salvatierra said she was inspired to start the company after the Lady Gaga incident.
“I thought if I walked these dogs, this would never happen,” she tells Eyewitness News. “Then the light bulb went off.”
She has a passion for animals and helping to protect them.
“I bring something different, but the love and attention and joy that I get, that’s 100% real and my clients know it.”
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