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Pit bulls seized, Wendell man charged with dog fighting

Posted April 27

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— A Wendell man was charged Wednesday with more than two dozen felony crimes related to dog fighting.

James Edward Harris, 48, of 4 Olde Tavern Drive, is charged with 14 counts of dog fighting and 14 counts of cruelty to animals.

Wendell police and Wake County Animal Control officers searched Harris' home Tuesday after receiving reports of an unusual odor at the home.

"We heard a lot of barking, sometimes late at night, and there was a smell. There was a bad smell," neighbor Roger Brantley said.

During their search, officers found pit bulls both inside and outside the home.

Fourteen pit bulls were seized, and Wendell police said numerous items associated with dog fighting were found in the home.

"From what I hear they were dog fighting, so that was kind of a concern," Brantley said. "And the condition of the dogs when they were brining them outside was terrible."

The pit bulls were taken to the Wake County Animal Shelter. The prosecutor told the judge that at least two of the dogs had fresh wounds consistent with other signs of dog fighting.

Harris was also charged with one count driving with a revoked license. He was being held in Wake County jail under a $1M secured bond.

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  • Clarence Hill Apr 27, 2016
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    14 Seized pit-bulls does not equal an actual act of dog fighting. There must be more. As far as abuse--the dogs must speak for themselves.

  • Liz CatWrangler Apr 27, 2016
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    YEs it's sad about the animals in this situation. But ot me what is down right scary is that an unusual odor is enough for police to be allowed to search your home. Does this not concern anyone else? So if a wild creature decides to die in my yard and an unusual odor is present, can they come in and search? I'm with the poster below who said this guy needs a good lawyer.

  • Sheila Rohrbach Apr 27, 2016
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    GOSH, I hope that none of these dogs have been listed as lost or stolen,,,but i know that could be the case. Let's get this sick person (who obviously lacks entertainment in his life) prosecuted and given a sentence he deserves.

  • Mindi Johnson Apr 27, 2016
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    I knew it. I lived in that neighborhood almost 13 years. So many people reported him and nothing ever happened! I am so glad they are finally taking care of this problem. Saying a prayer for all the dogs that have ever been involved with him.

  • Maureen Mercer Apr 27, 2016
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    May his house be sold to pay all vet bills and rehab for the dogs. May he have a short prison life.

  • RB Redmond Apr 27, 2016
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    Poor dogs. I hope they can be saved and rehabbed successfully.
    As for this man, there is no punishment harsh enough for what he's done to them.

  • Chiqi Torres Apr 27, 2016
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    People who force innocent animals to fight for their pleasure and financial gain should be punished by forcing them to fight other people perpetrating the same cruelty. The punishment should fit the crime!!!

  • Teresa Engel Apr 27, 2016
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    Per the article, "Fourteen pit bulls were seized, and Wendell police said numerous items associated with dog fighting were found in the home."

  • Clarence Hill Apr 27, 2016
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    Something is lacking her. Possession and ownership of dogs does not equal dog fighting and animal cruelty. I hope officials have more criminal documentation than appears here. Dog fighting is a serious crime and charge--but having a "stinking house" is not enough to make these charges stick. This guy needs a good lawyer.

  • Ron Coleman Apr 27, 2016
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    This critter needs to be put under the jail, not in it.

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