By Ty Tagami, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
An Atlanta man who owns pit bulls knocked a cat out of a tree so the dogs could maul it, cbsatlanta.com reports.
The man was turned in by his neighbor, and a Fulton County official confirmed for the TV station that the pit bull owner was cited for animal cruelty.
The witness, Geoff Walker, told cbsatlanta.com that he saw what happened from his bedroom window: His neighbor used a branch to knock the cat out of a tree in the back yard.
"They went at it, and he came around with the branch and was jabbing at it and egging the dogs on, and the cat was screaming," Walker said. "It only took a minute or two for the cat to die."
Update January 20, 2011 2:55pm - The following article is by Ty Tagami, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Man accused of animal cruelty in cat's death could face felony charge
The northwest Atlanta man who allegedly knocked a cat from a tree so his pit bulls could maul it could wind up in prison.
Fulton County officials initially charged Brett Wearing with misdemeanor animal cruelty, but now they believe the charge should be elevated.
"After further investigation, it was determined that this incident rose to the level of a possible felony," Tony Phillips, an assistant director for Fulton's Environment and Community Development Department, told the AJC Thursday.
A neighbor called authorities and told them that Wearing used a stick to knock the cat from a tree, Phillips said, adding that the witness said Wearing encouraged the dogs to attack.
The pit bulls killed the cat, Phillips said.
Wearing, who lives on Mallard Street, could not be reached for comment.
The misdemeanor with which he initially was charged would bring a maximum of 60 days in jail upon conviction. If Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard decides to prosecute the case as a felony, however, Wearing could be looking at a year or more in a state prison.
It's unclear when the district attorney's office will make a decision about the case. The office was not immediately available for comment late Thursday afternoon.
The case was forwarded to prosecutors with the felony recommendation this week, Phillips said.
"A crime like that is something that Fulton County Animal Services wants to make sure that we prosecute appropriately," he said.