Dogfighting equipment, dogs seized in south Georgia

An emaciated dog and 11 others thought to be part of a fighting ring were seized on Tuesday from a home in the Colesburg community just south of Woodbine.

WOODBINE, Ga. -- Twelve dogs, some emaciated and scarred, were seized Tuesday when officers searched a residence south of Woodbine, authorities said.

The search warrant, secured to find evidence of dogfighting, was sought after a suspected methamphetamine lab was shut down at the same residence in the Colesburg community at 12127 U.S. 17 on New Year’s Day, Sheriff’s Office spokesman William Terrell said.

“They saw all those dogs out there behind the house,’’ Terrell said. “Some dogs there that night were not there today.’’

Officers found a suspected fighting pit and other equipment.

The Atlanta Humane Society took custody of the dogs because of space constraints at the Camden County Humane Society.

The dogs belonged to Domonique M. Hargrave, 32, of Kingsland, who has not been charged, the Sheriff’s Office said.

A listed telephone number for Hargrave was said to be temporarily out of service Tuesday.

At Sheriff Jim Proctor’s request, investigators from Atlanta-based Norred & Associates provided support and expertise in the seizure of the dogs and the evidence.

The Atlanta private security and investigative firm provides its services free in dogfighting cases, said Chuck Simmons, an investigator with the firm.

“We’ve been investigating dogfighting pro bono in America since 2008,” Simmons said. “We don’t charge for these. We do it to do something good for the dogs.

“One is in real bad shape. Some had puncture wounds,” and many likely have parasites and perhaps heart worms, he said.

An evaluation team from the Atlanta Humane Society provided logistical and veterinary support and evaluated the seized dogs, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Typically, the dogs are treated and those that can be adopted are placed with new owners, Simmons said.

The dogs were on bare dirt in a low, wet area, he said.

“They been on thick logging chains a long time,” Simmons said.

As to Terrell’s belief that some dogs may have been moved since the Jan. 1 drug raid at the residence, Simmons said there appeared to be three empty chain spots.

In the New Year’s Day raid, officers found what was believed to be an active methamphetamine lab in the house, Terrell said.

Officers arrested Mary Francine Furstenberg, 30, and Steven Joseph Fursternberg, 35, both of Woodbine, and Johnathon Lee Solis, 25, of Kingsland, on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine. All remain in custody, officials said.

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