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4/15 UPDATE: We were able to talk with Duplin County Sheriff Blake Wallace this morning and he gave us an update on this story.

Wallace says his department got the original tip that Harry L. Hargrove was running a dog-fighting ring on his property. He says the department had never investigated something of this magnitude, so he called the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department for advice – and they led him to the Atlanta Humane Society and to Norred and Associates, which is a private investigating firm in the Atlanta area.

He also says Hargrove had only lived in Duplin County the last year or so – and was shipping many of his dogs to other owners. He said he can’t confirm what AHS reports – that Hargrove was running one of the Top 5 dog-fighting rings in the country.

He says he also doesn’t know where the rescued dogs are, but that they’re still in the care of the AHS.


4/14 UPDATE: We wanted to follow-up on this story today, but have run up against some interesting roadblocks.

First, we checked in with the Atlanta Humane Society and the private investigators who helped initiate the raid to see where the dogs were and how they’re doing. We were told that we could not see the dogs today, that they were at a secret location, and we were given very basic details as to their health. We were also told they were at that secret location so that others who fight dogs wouldn’t steal them. We informed the Humane Society and the private investiagtors that video shot of the dogs inside a shelter would not tip anyone off to where they are – and that we would not disclose the location. They still refused to let us see the dogs.

We’ll continue to follow this story – and let you know if we find out anything else.


4/13 UPDATE: Nadine reports Sheriff’s Deputies have arrested 76-year-old Harry Louis Hargrove. Representatives from the Atlanta Humane Society tell her Hargrove’s been fighting dogs for 45 years and is one of the top five dog fighters in the country. So far, they have found more than 33 pit bull and pit bull mixes alive on the farm. They’ve also found some dead. No word on how many. They also found medication, weights and treadmills. All in all, investigators say raiding an operation like this costs the Atlanta Humane Society $100,000 dollars.


The Duplin County Sheriff’s Department is conducting a raid this morning on an alleged dog-fighting facility. The raid is expected to rescue 35-50 abused dogs and result in an arrest. Private investigators with Norred & Associates, an Atlanta-based security firm, are assisting in the rescue operation.

The raid is the result of confidential leads from a tip line sponsored by Norred & Associates. After verifying the initial lead, Norred investigators contacted the local law enforcement agency and together they conducted a joint investigation. As part of its pro-bono campaign to stop dog fighting, the Norred team has participated in 21 raids, resulting in 26 arrests and over 400 dogs rescued.

The Atlanta Humane Society has deployed their Humane Emergency Animal Rescue Team (HEART) and their fifth-wheel trailer to help evaluate and treat the dogs and transport them to an undisclosed location.


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34 Comments on "FIRST ON 3: Duplin County dog-fighting bust update"

2015 years 9 months ago

raises some very good points.

At the top of the list. How could the Sheriff, whom I believe is former FBI, or his Department not have been aware of something like this.

I own a small farm in Duplin County; get away from Wallace, there are no big towns. These’s no concentration of populace.

How could the Sheriff appear on the news and express such dismay and disbelief?

With the number of dogs referenced, the gentleman had to be buying dog food in large quantities.

There had to be other indicators.

Dogs bark; that many dogs would raise a loud cry.

When I’m over in Duplin County, I can hear the cows from the pasture down the road. I hear the children up the road. I can even hear I-40 traffic when it is crowded.

Something smells here; and it’s not dog doo-doo.

Maybe Raleigh needs to get a couple of SBI investigators down here to get to the bottom of this.

2015 years 9 months ago

The word is euthanized.

There is no reason for anyone to have that many dogs, nor dead dogs lying around on the property. Dogs that were injured. Dogs that needed to be put down due to aggression.

Norred and Associates is a good group. They’ve done a lot to prevent the cruelty of dog fighting in GA.

2015 years 9 months ago

I do appreciate your comments regarding 2nd guessing the Humane Society. I guess I just assumed I could trust them. And thanks to WWAY for following up on the story. I would like to know what happens to these poor dogs. I own two pits who are the sweetest girls I have ever had. It breaks my heart to see them mistreated in this way. Please continue to try to find them and make everyone involved own up to their practices.

2015 years 9 months ago

Perhaps you should stop blaming WWAY for finding a story that is extremely pertinent, and thank them for getting a sick individual off the street. The fact that you made this about a news station wanting to get a story and somehow included the word, “liberal”, into your post gives you zero credibility. Someone who manipulates and trains an innocent animal or animals to fight and then kills these animals clearly has mental problems and needs serious attention. Not only that, but to be that sick in the mind, studies overwhelmingly show that people who abuse animals more than likely have the same habits demonstrated towards humans; occasionally leading to murder. The fact that you would blame a sick man who tortured and killed dogs on a news station and use a political reference almost makes me wonder if we should not suspect YOU for having something to do with this crime. Hands down, this is not a controversial issue as to if it’s right or wrong to kill dogs… it’s plain wrong. This has nothing to do with WWAY manipulating a story or have anything to do with being liberal. Either you are a close friend of Mr. Soles, or you also like to abuse animals…. you, my friend, are the sick individual in this story.

2015 years 9 months ago

They should seek the maximum penalty for ANYONE found even there at a dog fighting place. It is cruel and if they wanna see a fight let them fight each other and leave the dogs out of it. If I ever see people fighting dogs I ll snap.


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