33 dogs seized in dog fighting operation

MOUNT OLIVE, NC (WECT) – The Duplin County Sheriff's Office has broken up an elaborate dog fighting operation in the Mount Olive area.

Deputies raided a home on Buck Hill Road Tuesday morning and seized 33 pit bulls they believe were being used for dog fights.

In addition to the dogs, authorities found a fighting ring, treadmills, syringes and medication used to enhance dog fighting abilities.  Several dogs were found dead on the property, their remains scattered in shallow graves or thrown away in the trash.

Authorities arrested 76-year-old Harry Louis Hargrove, the owner of the 14-acre property.  According to Sheriff Blake Wallace, Hargrove is facing several felony charges.

During a press conference Wallace described the operation as one of the worst things he's ever seen.  Wallace had heard Hargrove is believed to be one of the top 5 dog fighters in the country.

Anna Ware, a representative for the Humane Society and Norred & Associations, has been on more than 20 raids and describes Hargrove's operation as one of the most disturbing dog fighting scene's she's ever witnessed.

Ware said many of the dogs had scars on top of scars and at least one had bone exposed on one leg.  She said most of the pit bulls weighed about 30 lbs. and were attached to 30 lbs. of heavy logging chains.

Authorities have veterinaries on the scene to examine and treat the dogs.  It appears most of the animals will go to Atlanta for further treatment.  According to Ware, pit bulls are people friendly, and the dogs will be adoptable after rehabilitation.

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