Duplin Co. dog-fighting 'legend' gets five years in prison

By MARTHA WAGGONER
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- A 78-year-old North Carolina man described as a legend in the dog-fighting world will spend five years behind bars, the maximum a federal judge could impose.

Harry Hargrove of Duplin County was sentenced Thursday in US District Court in Raleigh on dog-fighting charges. Hargrove pleaded guilty to the charges earlier this year, and prosecutors sought a sentence longer than recommended federal guidelines of 10 months to 16 months.

A federal motion says Hargrove has been involved in dog-fighting in the South for about 40 years.

Hargrove told Judge Terrence Boyle he once has more than 100 fighting dogs, but he'd cut back to 35 by the time he was arrested. All 35 dogs found on his property in April 2010 were euthanized.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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WAY TO GO HUMANE SOCIETY!!! U SAVED 35 DOGS BY KILLING THEM?????

I am happy that he is at least getting some of what he deserves. It makes me sick to think that he and others raise and fight these dogs and live off what they make doing it. I feel it’s important to keep bringing attention to this problem. The more attention that it gets the harder it will be for these MONSTERS to hurt and mistreat animals.

As a proud owner of two beautiful loving pitts - I think this man needs 5 years for each dog he fought. Our dogs grew up with children, they are more loving and loyal than most humans. Its a shame...... and it breaks my hear to even think a person could be so cruel!

Why don’t we just legalize it like smoking, drinking, and the lottery? Then we can tax the heck out of it, and spread the wealth. You people are so narrow minded.

You are making a living off the suffering of animals yourself. What an ignorant thing to say.

This is appalling to even consider calling this man a legend, unless you consider someone that mistreats, abuses, terrorfies, tortures and kills innocent animals a (legend). A legend is someone of symbolic stature like a role model, not someone that makes up for their shortcomings by mutilating dogs on a regular basis throughout life. Legend, no; killer, yes

Animal lover and proud of it, forever........................

There was a 36th dog - "Hurricane Hugo" who was rescued. Many more details at this story:

http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/9954362/

Kudos to Judge Terence Boyle - tough but fair. Too many judges give light sentences to child & animal abusers - not in this case though.

Another dog-fighting ring just broken up in Pamlico Co (near New Bern) - 17 dogs seized:

http://www.wral.com/news/news_briefs/story/9954047/ The article notes a 3 year investigation. Seriously?! Three years? how many dogs were killed and/or severely abused in three years?

As the proud owner of a goofball sweetheart of a pit bull that sleeps with my cat at night I have to say "It is the owner, not the dogs" that should be to blame.

I understand everyone's comments about letting angry pit bulls tear this guy apart, but the truth is pit bulls aren't angry unless they are beaten, shocked with jumper cables, or thrown in as bait dogs for other crazy antagonized pit bulls to chew on for practice. These dogs are not inherently dangerous unless the owners make them that way. You will also find that pit bulls don't bark by nature. They are very child like animals.

So lets not use the example of throwing him to the pit bulls, because they weren't the problem in the first place. That just sets another example of them being some sort of killing machines. They all started as puppies and had to be raised to be killing machines. They are fighting for their lives not by choice.

Do some internet searches on Pit Bulls and you will be surprised at how much these dogs have been in the hearts of American households since the 1800's.

Justice has worked, but may not fit the crime. At least he has been stopped. It is a shame for the dogs. May they finally have peace.

Shaun O'Rourke
co-host of Gracie's Friends
New animal rescue show filming in Wilmington NC!

If the locals & Feds knew this man was a legend in dog-fighting, wonder why it took 40 years to finally stop him. I have been at the stock yard on Thursdays and Saturdays and men would have puppies they were trying to sell and telling everyone, they would be good for the dogfights. Locals have looked the other way for years. He was just one of the good old boys. Believe me there are a lot more out there. He had to have others bringing their dogs. Men with the badges, you need to keep looking for the others.

The only proper sentence for this "legend" is to dip him for an hour or so in a vat of raw meat and let him marinate before chaining him up and throwing him in a locked room with about 10 pit bulls. Anyone who would do such a thing to an animal deserves nothing but death. It disgusts me beyond imagination.

Any human that gets enjoyment out of watching two dogs (or any animal) rip each other apart needs to be taken out of the gene pool, IMO. Seize his property and all of his assets and turn it into a no-kill animal shelter.

Only in Duplin county will you find people like this... and ther are many more backwoods people

Oh, that's right, he wasn't. See how silly you seem when you generalize. Don't get me wrong, I don't care where they're from, I hope people who torture animals suffer similar fates. I hope he's a "legend" in prison.

No one said he was from Duplin County - you need to read before you leap onto something. It was just a general statement about the situation

These dog fighting people are everywhere. There were some in Brunswick County on Hwy. 133 close to Orton Plantation. Probably still there.

You'll find plenty of it in Brunswick County. And local police turn a blind eye to it. Wonder why?

I couldn't agree more~

No animal is more important than man, but someone who uses animals in such acts of cruelty need to be punished. Unfortunately for the animals, they suffered at the hands of this man and others, and had to be put down. He will spend some time in a cage, so just maybe, he will get a taste of that type of life. He is cruel and he is inhumane. Makes you wonder how he treated his fellow human beings. History will show that people that are cruel to animals are cruel to people also.

Just have to wonder what happened to the others involved? Did any of them get put in jail or are they out there still doing the same thing. Makes me think of Michael Vick. Was he sorry about what he did or was he sorry he got caught? Would he still be doing it now? Just asking.

This is a crying shame! Why can't there be longer sentences for these jerks who abuse and torture animals? Only 5 years behind bars and he'll probably get out early for good behavior. Then he'll be back in business torturing more poor animals.

I wish it were possible for him to get 35 years, one for each dog that was euthanized. He should also have to do lots of community service, cleaning up behind dogs!!

WHO EUTHANIZED THE DOGS?????? NOT HIS OWNER!! I GUESS IF U WORKED FOR THE INHUMANCE SOCIETY U WOULD NOT BE GUILTY OF KILLING ANIMALS RIGHT? THIS STORY AND ALL OF YOUR COMMENTS JUST SHOW HOW IGNORANT PEOPLE ARE!! THIS MAN IS ARRESTED AND THROWN IN JAIL FOR ANIMAL CRUELTY BY PEOPLE WHO TAKE HIS ANIMALS AND THOUSANDS MORE AND KILL THEM!! KILL THEM BECAUSE OF HOW THEY R BRED OR ACT! IF ONLY ANIMALS COULD TALK..THEY WOULD MAKE CLEAR WHO THE REAL SCUMBAGS ARE...THE INHUMANCE SOCIETY!!

It would be better to just throw him in a cage, with an angry pit bull, let him get eaten-up, so he'll know what it feels like.