Super Model Gisele Bundchen, Reneges on “Lost Dog” Reward Offer; San Bernardino Couple Arrested, Released, and Talking to Media

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A young San Bernardino couple is going public with questions about supermodel Gisele Bundchen's "no questions asked" $5000.00 reward offer, which remains unpaid more than two weeks after the couple returned Bundchen's dog only to be arrested at gunpoint, handcuffed and held in custody. Although cleared by the police, the couple has no explanation from Bundchen of why they were treated like criminals and denied the reward.

Even after they were cleared by police, Bundchen's people have wrongly maintained and implied Paul and Janelle deserved the humiliating treatment they received.

Supermodel Gisele Bundchen’s “no questions asked” $5000.00 reward offer for her lost dog just before Thanksgiving, may have gotten her dog back, but, according to the young couple who responded to the offer and returned her seven year old Yorkshire terrier, Bundchen’s attitude now is “no questions answered”. Reminiscent of Bundchen’s former agency boss, John Casablanca's widely publicized description of Bundchen that she is “a monster of selfishness” and designer Roberto Cavalli’s claim that Bundchen “welshed" on a business deal with him, Janelle Olson (20) and Paul Douwenga (21) of San Bernardino County, California, (90 miles east of Leonardo DiCaprio’s Hollywood Hills Estate to which the dog was returned according to Los Angeles police), have had to retain an attorney to find out what happened to the “hefty” reward offer which Bundchen published when she was reportedly "depressed, devastated and frantic" over the disappearance of her seven year old Yorkshire terrier, Vida on November 17, which had no identifying information on its collar when found running in the public street.

“My friends and I found the dog running in the street where it was almost hit by a pickup truck” said Janelle, we picked it up and took it with us to keep it safe. As soon as she could get back to Hollywood, six days later, Janelle made sure to go to the neighborhood where the dog was rescued. There she saw the anonymous reward posters, which Bundchen, reportedly on the advice of Paris Hilton, had plastered all over the neighborhood. That evening Janelle and Paul, along with their 18 month old son gathered up Vida and brought her back to Los Angeles where they arranged to meet with the owner and exchange the Vida for the reward. Instead, after returning the dog in good condition as promised, Paul and Janelle were suddenly arrested at gunpoint by three detectives, thrown to the ground and held their while 18 month old Schyler, their son, screamed with distress and fright. Transported to the police station still in handcuffs, Paul asked officers “what have I done wrong”? Two hours later after questioning, Paul and Janelle were released and told by police that they had been cleared of any wrong-doing. In subsequent conversations with authorities, Paul and Jenelle were told that the owners of the dog had made a theft complaint, apparently failing to tell police about published reports that Vida had run away from home before, and even after police cleared Janelle and Paul, Bundchen was refusing to pay the reward. Attempts by Paul and Janelle to get an explanation from Bundchen were rebuffed, until they hired attorney Frank Edward Harrigan III of Claremont, who made contact with Bundchen’s agent, Ann Nelson at IMG and has since been in discussions about the matter with attorneys for Ms. Bundchen. As Paul told Access Hollywood in a recent interview, “If we had gotten the reward money as promised and an apology on the night all this happened, that would have been the end of it. Now, we are upset and distressed about everything we have had to go through including reading press reports instigated by Bundchen, or her entourage, that stated or implied we must be “dognappers” or leave us feeling humiliate when we have to tell our friends that although we brought the dog back to its owner, we didn’t get the promised reward.”

"Even after they were cleared by police, Bundchen's people have wrongly maintained and implied Paul and Janelle deserved the humiliating treatment they received. " said the couples attorney, Frank Harrigan. “At this point, based upon everything we know, it appears Bundchen and others who conspired with her had no intention of paying the reward when they made the offer. For example, according to what the police told my clients, there was a video tape, apparently part of Dicaprio’s security system, of Janelle’s vehicle when her friends rescued Vida from the street. From the day the dog was missing the police may have known how to find Janelle and the dog, but they made no attempt contact her. Also, one press report initiated by Bundchen’s press operation, however, explicitly stated that Bundchen suspected “dognappers” in the disappearance of Vida. The “hefty” reward offer was a clearly trick, a ruse and a deception, from what we have read perhaps suggested by Ms. Hilton. Now that the police have verified Janelle and Paul acted innocently, Bundchen and her people still don’t want to honor the reward or even apologize to Paul and Janelle for what they went through, including a car chase in which someone apparently associated with Bundchen terrorized Janelle by chasing her car around the Hollywood Hills the day she learned of the reward. By going public the couple stated they hoped to begin to counter the false impressions created by the arrest, press reports and Bundchen's failure to honor her 'no questions asked" reward, according to the couple.

For all media inquires please contact:

Susie Gluttman


Jones & O'Malley Public Relations

For all non-media inquires please contact:

The Law Office of Frank Edward Harrigan III

Claremont, CA



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Susie Gluttman
Jones & O'Malley Public Relations
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