Pittman and her cats go on trial Sept. 28

Dorothy Pittman, owner of Horton’s Books and Gifts in Carrollton, will go on trial Sep. 28 for violation of the local leash law and a nuisance ordinance. Here, Poe “signs” a petition started by friends of the mascot cats.

The continuing legal saga of Horton’s bookstore owner Dorothy Pittman and her popular resident cats, Poe and Dante, will play out Sept. 28 in the courtroom of Carroll County Chief Magistrate Court Judge Alton P. Johnson.

Pittman was cited for two counts of failure to restrain and one nuisance violation after one of the cats allegedly attacked a dog on a leash on outside the Adamson Square bookstore on June 7, supposedly scratched the arm of its owner, a resident of Madison, Georgia, in town visiting relatives.

According to Mrs. Pittman’s attorney, Kevin Buice of Carrollton, the complainant did not appear during earlier court proceedings, but is expected to be present for the misdemeanor hearing later this month.

“All three charges, failure to restrain twice and nuisance, are misdemeanors,” Buice explained.

“I am informed that the more traditional dispositions following a finding of guilt are a $125 or so for a leash violation, or $425 or so for a nuisance,” Buice noted.

The longtime Carrollton attorney added that although the complainant was not required to appear earlier, he/she is mandated to appear at the formal hearing now that it has been turned over for formal adjudication.

If the complainant does not appear for the Sept. 28 proceeding, the charges would have to be dropped for lack of evidence, Buice said.

Meanwhile, the allegedly felonious felines have been gathering local support.

Two petitions, entitled “I Stand with Poe and Dante,” one at Horton’s bookstore and the other on-line with the Carroll County Humane Society (carrollcountyhumane.org), have garnered the signatures of well over 1,000 citizens.

According to portions of the petition, Poe’s and Dante’s neighbors and friends are at a loss to understand what could have actually happened during the incident. These cats are said to be very well socialized and there has never been single complaint about their behavior.

Additionally noted in the petition: “They have been wandering around The Square and interacting with dogs, cats, and humans of all shapes and sizes their whole lives.”

The two felines often take part in adoption events held in front of the bookstore, when they mingle with dogs being presented for adoption, as well as being annual participants in the MayFest celebrations each year that bring hundreds of visitors and their pets to The Square.

The petition concludes with the statement: “Therefore, fans of Dante and Poe want to register their support for these beloved ambassadors for downtown Carrollton and do whatever we can to make sure they are able to return to their peaceful lives on the Square.”

According to both Pittman and Buice, it is hoped that someone who witnessed what transpired, will come forward.