“Love me – that’s all I ask of you.”

― Charles Hart, The Phantom of the Opera: Piano/Vocal


Janet Kitiyakara’s dog, Phantom, is mixed pit bull who was found in FSJ in 2009. Janet, a senior citizen, and caring neighbors made sure that Phantom had everything he needed to be a good canine citizen. He received training with and lived the typical social life of a Faubourg St. John dog, doing fun things with other dogs and even attending the Barkus parade. That was his world. Then he moved to a California suburb, and in that barren social landscape developed social anxiety. Since Janet’s house was being renovated, he would occasionally escape, and that is a crime for a pit bull in California. Janet’s fur-child was taken from her in the most terrible fashion. A real nightmare followed.

The good news is that Janet’s dog trainer in California and her dog walker, worked very hard with the net work of FSJ neighbors, including Gallivan Burwell of Upward Dog, and an expanded network of concerned folks across the country. Although poor Phantom was incarcerated for almost two months in that sad place, he didn’t know that this network was working daily to keep the flame burning for this innocent animal, sending hundreds of emails and making calls. Phantom had his day in court (Los Angeles County Animal Control hearing), complete with video and lots of testimony. The wheels of justice move slowly, especially in dog time, but here’s the latest:

Phantom is being fostered in a nurturing home environment, to help him regain his bearings and heal from two months of solitary confinement. Then in August, he will make a road trip from California to Clearwater, Florida, where he will live with a chapter of the “We Care for Paws 501c(3)” on five acres of land. This group is run by military veterans.

I still have hope that Phantom may find his way back to
FAUBOURG ST. JOHN because it’s

Anyone interested in adopting Phantom can contact me at 504-296-2708, although the “We Care for Paws” group may have big plans for him in Florida, and it may be a few months before he is ready to be permanently rehomed. Since Phantom was almost performing as a service dog for Janet, helping her up the stairs at night, being a service dog may be in his future.

PHANTOM with Janet Kitiyakara
PHANTOM with Janet Kitiyakara
Here is the video the California dog trainer and dog walker (Jessica and Kate) made for Phantom to plead his innocence in court, showing bits of his life in Faubourg St. John, as well as his time in California. These women truly fought for Phantom’s life and in my mind are honorary neighbors of Faubourg St. John, along with Carol Allard of “We Care for Paws” in Clearwater, Florida.

Just in case someone wants confirmation or details. My number is 504-296-2708. Janet plans on helping financially for the rest of Phantom’s life. I will be helping also. I’m also hoping neighbors reach out to Janet, because the grief she is going through has been extreme. Call me at 504-296-2708 for more information

Eileen Duke