Business as usual.

April 18th, 2008 11:59 pm by Kelly Garbato

(Crossposted, without comentary, here.)

Sigh. Over the years, I’ve posted about countless injustices perpetrated against animals and the earth at So few of them make their way over here, because…well, because there are so. fucking. many. of them. Each case is as brutal as the next…routine abuses on factory farms, puppy mills, circuses, etc., etc. etc., all dismissed as “business as usual”; the abandonment of companion animals en masse in the wake of war, natural disasters and the mortgage crisis; seals clubbed to death for their fur, wolves shot from the air to “protect” cattle, “poultry” suffocated in the midst of bird flu scares. It’s fucking endless. Each issue is so fucking heartbreaking that, taken as a whole, a particular story has to be damn near crushing before I feel like posting on it over here, on my non-AR blog. Jax’s murder is such a story.

On April 14, New Orleans Police Officers were responding to a (false, it turns out) burglary alarm in the Lakeview neighborhood. While canvassing the area, they invaded the home of Jax and Scarlett, two Doberman Pinschers. They pumped eight bullets into 4-year-old Jax, with the justification that he lunged at them first. Problem is, Jax had recently undergone spinal surgery; his vet testified that it would have been impossible for Jax to “lunge” at anyone.

Neighbors called Jax’s guardian, Dr. Patrick Coleman, who rushed home to find Jax dying in his backyard. Rather than aid in CPR, the NOPD officers ordered Coleman to “restrain” Jax’s sister Scarlett – again, in their own fucking home. Scarlett was terrified, cowering in the corner of her home, watching her companion die. Jax bled to death while the officers allegedly laughed and snickered. And then, rather than call another set of officers to investigate the incident, the officers involved in the shooting collected all the evidence themselves. Coverup, anyone? (Not that a coverup is especially necessary; animal abuse is like rape in that the perpetrators are very rarely bought to justice. Animals and women, disposable objects in a disposable society. Men hate you and your dog.)

I very rarely get emotional while reading and posting about animal issues; I try to disassociate a bit, otherwise I think I might be crippled by the sorrow and helplessness. Not just in regards to animal issues, but especially in regards to animal issues – in the “Oppression Olympics”, non-human animals win, paws down. For all my silly beliefs about who should have which rights, I most often get mocked for my support of animal liberation causes. I mean, pffft. You think allegedly “liberal” men disdain feminists, GLBT allies, anti-racists, et. al.? Try being an animal advocate in liberal circles. Even members of the other marginalized groups don’t get – don’t want to see – how their own oppression is linked to that of animals.

But I started blubbering like a baby when I read this one. I have five dogs and a cat, all of whom are loved like children by their otherwise childfree parents. They’re my babies. I’d do anything to protect them, to keep them safe and happy. And so did Dr. Coleman, even installing an alarm system to look after his Jax and Scarlett when he couldn’t. And it was that alarm system that brought the officers who murdered (yes, murdered) Jax. It hurts my heart to think what that must feel like.

As I write this, the libertarian douchebag and I are hunting around for alarm systems right now for that very purpose. We live in a small town that hasn’t seen a murder in dog knows how long, and break-ins are rare. Yet I hate leaving the animals alone; what if there’s a fire? Who will rescue the dogs? Four-legged children aren’t exactly a top priority in an emergency situation. There are some heroic firefighters who might risk their own lives for those of Ralphie, Peedee, O-Ren, Kaylee, Jayne and Ozzy, but I wouldn’t bet their lives on it.

And yet Jax was shot, murdered in his own backyard. On his own property. In his home. I get the fear that so-called “dangerous” breeds engender in some people (“bigots” would be the proper term…if dogs were given human consideration, that is), but Jax was on his own fucking property. Certainly a dog should be safe in his own backyard?

By the by, this isn’t the first dog shooting scandal to hit New Orleans. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, St. Bernard Parish Deputy Sheriff Mike Minton and Sergeant Clifford “Chip” Englande were videotaped shooting companion animals whose guardians had been forced – sometimes at gunpoint – to leave them behind. Charges against both have been dismissed. This is not be to confused with another case, in which companion animals left (supposedly in safety) in four schools elementary in St. Bernard Parish were gunned down, execution style. The case(s?) is still open.

If you’d like to learn more – and I hope you do – all of the relevant alerts are available on Search for “St. Bernard Parish“.

Please also email NOPD, Mayor Nagin, etc., and demand that Jax’s killers are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and that measures are put in place to stop such an atrocity from happening again. Jax, Scarlett and their father deserve as much. This was a needless, senseless killing. A tragedy. And it could happen to any one of us, our animals, our children, our family.

And then put down that burger, because the cow you’re eating had a family, too.


Update, 4/18/08:

After doing some further research on the case – because, as I mentioned at Elaine’s place, I can’t stop blubbering about it – I want to correct two mistakes, one minor, one not so much.

The officers fired eight shots at Jax, but according to his vet, only four hit their mark. Minor quibble.

Now for the more significant correction. The shooting apparently started in Dr. Coleman’s fenced backyard, where the officers first found Jax and Scarlett. Once the officers started firing bullets at the dogs, they ran into the house through the dog door. The officers either followed the dogs inside, into their home, their refuge, and kept pumping bullets into poor Jax, or somehow fired into the house from outdoors, as shell casings and/or bullets were allegedly found inside the home as well as out.

When Dr. Coleman arrived on the scene, he found Jax crumpled in a corner of his home (the living room?; in any case, not the backyard as I previously stated), bleeding to death beside a terrified Scarlett. It’s unclear from the new reports whether the officers were inside the home when Dr. Coleman arrived, or if they followed him inside. In any case, it’s at this point that the officers prevented Dr. Coleman from performing CPR in order to “restrain” Scarlett.

Which begs several questions: if they were so freaking scared of Jax and/or Scarlett, why follow them inside, into their own home, into a confined space? Likewise, if Scarlett was acting in a threatening manner while Dr. Coleman was trying to save Jax, why not just leave the fucking house instead of pester the no doubt hysterical and otherwise occupied Dr. Coleman? I mean, even if Dr. Coleman’s efforts to save Jax were futile, couldn’t you at least let the poor man be with his beloved companion in his final moments?

Heartless fucking monsters. How I wish I knew their names, because they need to be slurred far and wide.

As far as I can tell, the incident is under investigation – but not the shooting, just the officers’ conduct (coverup) afterwards. Whether this was a “justified” shooting or a clear case of animal abuse is not even up for discussion. Which means we have to make it an issue.


UPDATE, 5/11/08:

Excerpted from Kinship Circle: [GULF COAST] On The Streets, Since Katrina


KINSHIP CIRCLE received the “thank you” below from Dr. Patrick Coleman, the Lakeview, New Orleans resident whose dog Jax was needlessly slaughtered by police in his fenced backyard.

From: Patrick Coleman, wpcoleman [at]
Date: Sat, 3 May 2008 / Subject: Thank you Re: Jax

Thank you so much for the information posted regarding Jax, my 4 year old Doberman, who was shot and killed by a police officer responding to a false burglary alarm at my home on April 14, 2008. With so many people writing letters, blogging, posting… I only hope that his death brings about change as his life did for myself and everyone who met him.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart in memory of Jax, Patrick

W. Patrick Coleman IV, M.D. / 4425 Conlin Street; Metairie, LA 70006
Office: 504-455-3180; Fax: 504-885-2512


———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at]
Date: Fri, Apr 18, 2008 at 3:18 PM
Subject: CORRECTION/ Cop Fires 8 Bullets Into Beloved Dog

1. FAX NUMBERS from City Of New Orleans website for Superintendent Warren J. Riley and Orleans Parish District Attorney were incorrect. CORRECT FAX NUMBERS are inserted in original alert below (shown in RED). [Kelly’s note: I have updated the original alert to include the correct fax numbers.]

2. To send Mayor Nagin comments:

— Go to main home page:
— Click on: “Contact Us” at very bottom of page.
— On Contact Us page, scroll to “Select A Department” drop-down menu.
— Select “Mayor’s Office” and hit “Go.”
— Your browser page will refresh, showing a security code you need to submit comments.

3. Several people have asked, but Kinship Circle does NOT know (at this time) the private email address or other contact information for Dr. Patrick Coleman, whose Doberman Jax was slaughtered by an NOPD officer.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at]
Date: Thu, Apr 17, 2008 at 5:27 PM
Subject: ACT/ Cop Fires 8 Bullets Into Beloved Dog


4/17/08: New Orleans Cop Fires 8 Bullets Into Beloved Dog

Easily modify letter and copy/paste it into an email or print out to fax or mail.

Kinship Circle - 2008-04-17 - New Orleans Cop Fires 8 Bullets Into Beloved Dog 02

Kinship Circle - 2008-04-17 - New Orleans Cop Fires 8 Bullets Into Beloved Dog 01

Jax, the black Doberman on the left, was shot and killed by police responding to a burglar alarm that proved to be a false alarm.,item,302619517.aspx


FULL CONTACT INFORMATION. Sample letter follows.


Superintendent Warren J. Riley
New Orleans Police Department
715 S. Broad Street; New Orleans, LA 70ll9
ph: 504-658-5757; fax: 504-685-5775
email: (secretary to Superintendent Riley): sbbass [at]

Keva Landrum-Johnson, Orleans Parish District Attorney
1340 Poydras, Suite 700; New Orleans, LA 70112-6005
ph: 504-822-2414 or 504-571-2820; fax: 504-571-2909, 504-571-2846

Mayor C. Ray Nagin
New Orleans City Hall; 1300 Perdido Street; New Orleans, LA 70112
City Hall Operator: 504-658-4000;
web mail:
— Go to main home page,
— Click on: “Contact Us” at very bottom of page.
— On Contact Us page, scroll to “Select A Department” drop-down menu.
— Select “Mayor’s Office” and hit “Go.”
— Your browser page will refresh, showing a security code you need to submit comments.

City Hall, 1300 Perdido Street; New Orleans, LA 70112

Arnie Fielkow, President — AFielkow [at]
Room 2W40; ph: 504-658-1060; fax: 504-658-1068

Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson, Vice President — jbclarkson [at]
Room 2W50; ph: 504-658-1070; fax: 504-658-1077

Shelley Midura, District A — SMidura [at]
Room 2W80; ph: 504-658-1010; fax: 504-658-1016

Stacy S. Head, District B — SHead [at]
Room 2W10; ph: 504-658 -1020; fax: 504-658-1025

James Carter, District C — JCarter [at]
Room 2W70; ph: 504-658-1030; fax: 504-658-1037

Cynthia Hedge-Morrell, District D — CHMorrell [at]
Room 2W20; ph: 504-658-1040; fax: 504-658-1048

Cynthia Willard-Lewis, District E — CWLewis [at]
Room 2W60; ph: 504-658-1050; fax: 504-658-1058


Louisiana SPCA
1700 Mardi Gras Blvd.; New Orleans, Louisiana 70114
ph: 504-368-5191; fax: 504-368-3710
Ana Zorrilla, chief executive officer: Ana [at]
Kathryn Destreza, Director of Humane Law Enforcement: Kathryn [at]


EMAIL BLOCK: All emails found. Some contacts have no available email.


sbbass [at], AFielkow [at], jbclarkson [at], SMidura [at], SHead [at], JCarter [at], CHMorrell [at], CWLewis [at]

Cc: Ana [at], Kathryn [at]

Mayor web mail:
— Go to main home page,
— Click on: “Contact Us” at very bottom of page.
— On Contact Us page, scroll to “Select A Department” drop-down menu.
— Select “Mayor’s Office” and hit “Go.”
— Your browser page will refresh, showing a security code you need to submit comments.

*Kinship Circle cannot guarantee validity of email addresses. During campaigns, recipients may change or disable their email addresses. Emails from government, corporate, or institute websites may be incorrect.


SAMPLE LETTER — This letter is prepared to inform you about the issue.
Try to shorten and personalize your letter before sending.


New Orleans Police Department, District Attorney, Mayor and City Council:

I am shocked by the actions of the New Orleans Police Department in the April 14 shooting death of a dog in his fenced backyard. While canvassing a Lakeview residence after a security alarm accidentally activated, an NOPD officer fired eight bullets into Jax, a 4-year-old Doberman Pinscher still wobbly from recent spinal surgery.

A neighbor phoned Dr. Patrick Coleman, who raced home from work to find Jax crumpled in his backyard. Jax’s sister Scarlett trembled nearby as Coleman, a dermatologist with prior trauma training, tried to plug gaping holes in Jax’s head. As Coleman administered CPR, officers ordered him to “control” Scarlett. These officers not only failed to assist with life-saving measures, they actually interrupted resuscitation so Coleman could lock Scarlett in an upstairs room. Some officers reportedly laughed as Coleman cradled his bloody dog in a front doorway.

Officers at the scene never interviewed Coleman and swiftly confiscated all shell casings. Their diverse accounts of the incident fluctuate from Scarlett lunging to Jax lunging. Veterinarian Rose Lemarie claims the surgery Jax underwent six weeks prior to his death left him incapable of lunging or charging.

Please equip New Orleans police officers with the knowledge to neutralize animals perceived as aggressive — without resorting to lethal force. I encourage NOPD to learn skills to distinguish anxiety, fear, and protective canine behaviors from genuinely hostile behavior.

Jax likely barked or growled as any dog would in reaction to unfamiliar men on his turf. If officers felt threatened, why were no warning shots, chemical sprays, batons, or other deterrents tried first?

Furthermore, I call upon Superintendent Reilly to conduct an unbiased internal investigation. I understand no disciplinary actions — even reassignment to administrative duties or suspension from the force — have been taken. Clearly, a post-surgical dog known as friendly and docile to family and neighbors did not legitimately endanger armed men. If evidence uncovered during an investigation warrants animal cruelty charges, I urge authorities to arrest and prosecute Jax’s killer.

In light of the global outrage over post-Katrina dog shootings in St. Bernard Parish streets and schools, it is imperative law enforcers recognize the gravity of animal cruelty crimes and establish a better precedent for punishing them. ALL offenders, even police officers, must be subject to criminal investigation and penalties commensurate with their actions.

An ironic footnote to this tragedy is that Coleman had installed an alarm, in part, to safeguard his companion animals. Instead, a police officer emptied his handgun’s clip into one of them. The shooter’s vicious reflex suggests an utter lack of judgment in volatile situations.

Please inform me of any progress in this very disturbing case.

Thank you,




VIDEO/ Police shoot dog in Lakeview backyard,item,302619517.aspx

Doctor Demands Answers For Dead Dog

Controversy over dog shooting escalates

Dog Shot By Officer Dies In Owner’s Arms

Humane Society Of Louisiana

PETITION: New Orleanians for a Pet Savvy Police Force


Help us print Kinship Circle literature for nationwide distribution
Hard copies cost money and we need your help to pay the printer!
Kinship Circle is a 501c3 nonprofit. All donations are tax-deductible.

Kinship Circle - Factsheet - The Violence Link

Kinship Circle - Factsheet - Dying for a Home

Kinship Circle - Factsheet - Fatal Fights



Action Campaigns I Literature I Animal Disaster Aid Networking
info [at] or kinshipcircle [at] *


* Select a Kinship Circle ALERT received in your mailbox
* Enter kinshipcircle [at]
* Type UNSUBSCRIBE in your subject line and hit send

Kinship Circle Primary: subscribe [at]
Action campaigns on animal cruelty issues worldwide
Kinship Circle Animal Disaster Relief: kinshipcircle [at]
Animal rescue coordination/news in disasters + companion animal alerts


*DISCLAIMER: The information in these alerts is verified with the original source. Kinship Circle does not assume responsibility for the accuracy of the information or for the consequences of its use. Nothing in this email is intended to encourage illegal action in whatever country you are reading it in. Kinship Circle does not engage in, nor support, any form of harassment or unlawful activity. Nothing in this alert serves to promote such conduct.

Be Sociable, Share!

Filed under , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply