Local News

Duplin man pleads guilty to dog-fighting charge

Posted March 15, 2011 12:04 p.m. EDT
Updated March 15, 2011 12:33 p.m. EDT

— A Duplin County man pleaded guilty Monday to a federal dog-fighting charge, authorities said.

Harry Louis Hargrove pleaded guilty to selling, delivering, possessing, training and transporting animals for the purposes of having them participate in an animal-fighting venture. He will be sentenced later.

Prosecutors said Hargrove trained pit bulls for fighting and sold them to people who sponsored dog fights. Undercover Duplin County Sheriff's Office deputies purchased a pit bull from him in April 2010.

Local authorities later searched Hargrove's property and found a blood-stained fighting pit, veterinary supplies and devices used to train fighting dogs and strengthen their jaws, prosecutors said.

Thirty-five dogs were also found on Hargrove's property, and 34 had to be euthanized because of injuries or aggressive behavior, prosecutors said. Dog carcasses were found, as was a battery-and-jumper-cable system used to electrocute dogs, they said.

“It is heartbreaking to see animals treated with such cruelty when individuals decide they can make money in the practice of dog fighting,” U.S. Attorney George Holding said in a statement.