On February 24, Fischer was walking Gaga’s French bulldogs named Miss Asia, Koji, and Gustav at night in Los Angeles. He was shot in the chest and two of the dogs, Koji and Gustav, were stolen. Fischer was rushed to hospital where he underwent surgery and thankfully a few days later Gaga’s dogs were returned safely.
It’s been a harrowing several months since the incident, Fischer says. In an emotional plea across his several social media accounts on Monday, the former professional canine walker revealed he ditched the Hollywood Hills two months ago and began traveling cross-country in a 1991 Ford Falcon rental. However, days ago, he said goodbye to the vehicle that was filled with “me, Trudy, 3 stuffed animals that resemble dogs I care for very much, and WAY too many personal items.”
Fischer has now set up a Go Fund Me page in which he asks for the public’s help in donations. He shares how he’s felt “scared” and lonely” during his journey, at times feeling “abandoned and unsupported.”
Lady Gaga’s dog walker says he’s suffered bouts of depression in the months following his recovery from being shot in February. (AP)
“I had long bouts of depression and doubt and self-pity. But those backroads that took me to desert campsites and Walmart lots and rest stops and friends and family to NY and back began to help me see why I had chosen to leave the security of the Hollywood Hills where I fought for my life and mobility,” Fischer writes.
Fischer says it’s now time to be “equally devoted to strengthening my emotional and mental health” as he was of his body during his time living in Los Angeles.
“Having that understanding helped me frame what I need from the rest of this sabbatical: getting a van and exploring this country while seeking out communities that support the process of growing from trauma. For me, this includes retreat centers, trauma programs, queer healers, creatives and spiritual leaders. And I can’t wait to honestly share in the process and heal with you all along for the ride through writings, discussions and quirky videos (and maybe an interpretive dance or two),” he continues.
“So here I am, two months down on a 6 month journey. And, on this Feast of Saint Rocque, I have a clear purpose but am at an obvious impasse. With no vehicle, apartment, and having run out of savings and surviving on donations from generous loved ones, I am humbly asking for your help. This is not an easy thing to ask, but I have started to realize sharing your vulnerability with others is exactly when radical change begins to occur for everyone involved,” Fischer continues.
Fischer said he hopes to use donations towards the purchase of a new van and travel expenses. He says he also welcomes “all input on retreats for trauma throughout the country as well as queer spiritual leaders and healers, and how best to highlight and share with you along the way. I love you, and thank you for all the ways you have supported me throughout; I truly can’t wait to see how the next step of this journey unfolds for us all.”
Reps for Gaga did not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment. Gaga’s father, Joe Germanotta, who previously told Fox News that Fischer was close to the star’s family, declined to comment.
Back in May, Fischer spoke to the national attention he’s received after being named the victim in the case. At the time he was hospitalized, Gaga, 35, was in Italy filming a project. While he shared at the time that he was “still healing” from the trauma the incident brought him, he wrote about his appreciation for the well wishes that came his way.
“It’s a strange thing to be known for a trauma that I’m still healing from. People want to reach out, share in my pain for a moment, and then walk away, leaving me to relive it again. It’s not intentional; it comes from a kindness and compassion that I welcome,” he wrote on social media in May. “Everyone’s support and well wishes have been incredible, and I am so humbled by every kind word and prayer that have come my way. It just hasn’t always been easy to navigate as I continue to find myself.”
Fischer has worked with dogs for a decade. He admitted earlier this year that the incident left the future of his career in limbo.
Five people who were charged in the case — three men and two alleged accomplices — all pleaded not guilty. Police arrested James Jackson, 18, Jaylin White, 19, and Lafayette Whaley, 27, in connection with the violence. They are charged with attempted murder, conspiracy to commit robbery and second-degree robbery, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
The Lady Gaga connection was a coincidence, authorities have said. The motive was the value of the French bulldogs, a breed that can run into the thousands of dollars, and detectives do not believe the thieves knew the dogs belonged to the pop star.
Footage of the incident recorded the dog walker screaming “Oh, my God! I’ve been shot!” and “Help me!” and “I’m bleeding out from my chest!”
Gaga had offered a $500,000 reward for the safe return of her dogs. “My beloved dogs Koji and Gustav were taken in Hollywood two nights ago. My heart is sick and I am praying my family will be whole again with an act of kindness,” the singer wrote on Twitter.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.