Chicago woman, 64, was beaten while struggling with gunman who stole her French bulldog

CHICAGO — A Chicago woman says she was beaten and her French bulldog was stolen at gunpoint as she was taking it for a walk in her northwest side neighborhood.

Alicja Pierzchala, 64, told reporters that the attack occurred Wednesday evening in Portage Park.

“I just walked with my Peppa,” she told NBC Chicago. “She was sniffing and all of a sudden behind of me I felt pressure.”

“He yelled at me, give me your dog, and then I tried to fight. He put a gun here, here, and finally here,” Pierzchala added, pointing to her head.

She said she was later treated at a hospital for cuts to her wrists, forehead and a concussion.

She adopted Peppa nearly two months ago.

No arrests have been made, police said.

Pierzchala told NBC Chicago that police found surveillance video from a neighbor’s camera and officers also recovered the suspect’s cellphone.

French bulldogs have been targeted in other thefts, including the fatal shooting of a 76-year-old South Carolina breeder in February and the shooting of a California dog walker for pop star Lady Gaga in 2021.

The man was walking three of singer’s French bulldogs at the time. Two were taken and one escaped.

Authorities have said it was a coincidence that the dogs belonged to Lady Gaga and that the motive for the theft was the value of the French bulldogs, a breed that can run into the thousands of dollars.

The man who shot the dog walker and stole the dogs was later arrested and sentenced to 21 years in prison.

In March, French bulldogs surpassed Labrador retrievers as the most popular dog breed, according to the American Kennel Club.

There’s concern that demand, plus the premium that some buyers will pay for “exotic” coat colors and textures, is engendering quick-buck breeders and unhealthy dogs.

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