Authorities: Atlanta man could be jailed for siccing pit bulls on cat

An Atlanta man who owns pit bulls has been accused of knocking a cat out of a tree so the dogs could maul it.

The northwest Atlanta man was turned in by his neighbor, said a Fulton County official, who added that the pit bull owner was cited and must go to court.

Brett Wearing, who lives on Mallard Street, was charged with one count of animal cruelty, a misdemeanor, Tony Phillips told the AJC. Phillips is assistant director of Fulton's Environment and Community Development Department, which oversees the county's Animal Control operation.

A witness, Geoff Walker, told authorities 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.

Wearing is scheduled for a Feb. 22 hearing in Fulton County Magistrate Court. He faces up to 60 days in jail and fines as determined by a judge. The judge could strip Wearing of his dogs, Phillips said.

Phillips said the dogs were not impounded even though they killed the cat because the attack was instinctive. "That's a natural act on the part of a dog," he said.