July 17, 2008 | By fran m. | 6 comments


A man called the nation's No. 2 breeder of pit bull dogs was sentenced Monday to 40 years in prison on dogfighting and assault charges in what state prosecutors say is an unprecedented case.

David Tant, a 57-year-old North Charleston resident, pleaded guilty in Greenwood County to 41 counts of dogfighting and one count of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.

The sentence by Circuit Judge Wyatt Saunders is believed to be the heaviest levied against anyone charged with dogfighting in South Carolina, the state attorney general's office said. It also is one of the heaviest handed out nationally, said Sandy Christiansen, a dogfighting expert with the Humane Society of the United States.
Tant has long been associated with dogfighting, from advertisements in magazines linked to the sport to breeding animals for use in fighting, South Carolina authorities say. Christiansen said Tant sold fighting dogs nationally and internationally.

Tant ran into trouble last spring after a surveyor was shot and injured by a booby-trapped gun on Tant's property. That led authorities to raid his land, where they seized 47 pit bulls and other materials as evidence.

McMaster said resolution of the case gives state prosecutors experience and legal precedent to move forward with a crackdown on dogfighting.

Since a state dogfighting task force was formed last spring, authorities have made criminal cases against at least 28 people. The attorney general's office has cases pending against at least 22 people. Charges may be brought against people associated with Tant, prosecutors said. Until this year, cases against dogfighters in South Carolina have been sporadic.
Comments (6)

6 years ago

What a waist of a human. I hope this story helps send a message to others that abuse animals. Maybe they will think twice before they act. I am glad that the animals in this case had a voice. Humans are no more important than animals.

rebecca c.

rebecca c.
7 years ago

Okay as a cop I realize that I am supposed to be somewhat rational on the subject....yeah sorry but no. Why don't we make him fight someone to the death with just his teeth...? I think that would be a great deterient...If he dies, well he had a fighting chance, should have been a better fighter!

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