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Tony the truck stop tiger still waiting for sanctuary   Leave a comment

As reported by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ADLF), on June 20, 2014, a devastating turn of events occurred in the case of Tony the truck stop tiger. Advocates’ hopes that he was going to finally be allowed to go to a sanctuary were dashed. Previous articles about Tony’s situation have been published here, and you can find links to those at the end of this article.

Tony is a beautiful Siberian/Bengal tiger who has spent the last 14 years living in a small enclosure at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tate, La. Years of petitions and legal battles have been waged in an attempt to allow Tony to be sent to a sanctuary, where he can finally live in peace, far away from the incessant drone of diesel engines, the taunting by humans, and the stench of the fumes from the trucks and cars who come there 24/7. However, every time it appears there has been success, another roadblock is thrown up to keep Tony where he is.

The latest was Louisiana SB 250, signed by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, which exempted Michael Sandlin, the owner of the Tiger Truck Stop from the existing laws that specifically prohibit anyone from owning a large exotic cat such as Tony. Advocates had been so hopeful that Tony was finally going to be allowed to go to sanctuary, and then this latest legal wrangling took place, which once again resulted in Tony being forced to live at the truck stop.

The ADLF has been helping in the legal battle for Tony for years, and they have never given up on him. On June 24, 2014, in response to this shocking exemption given to Sandlin, the ADLF filed yet another lawsuit. This lawsuit has been filed against The Tiger Truck Stop, Michael Sandlin as the corporate owner of that business, the State of Louisiana, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, for violation of the existing public safety and animal welfare laws.

Tony has endured this nightmare for 14 years. His entire life is spent breathing in the toxic fumes from the huge trucks and cars that are constantly coming and going from the truck stop. People taunt him, throw garbage and even rocks at him through the bars of his cage, and he has never known a moment of true peace and quiet in his entire life. This magnificent animal should never be forced to live like this, and advocates must not give up on him, no matter how long it takes to make this right.

As reported by NBC33 News, a public hearing was held on Tuesday, September 3, 2014, regarding proposed new rules that could affect Tony and the Tiger Truck Stop. These new rules by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries would have restrictions on what constitutes a zoo. Based on the information contained in these new rules, the Tiger Truck Stop would not meet the criteria, and Tony would have to be released to sanctuary. It was further reported that Sandlin stated he will file yet another lawsuit against the State if these new restrictions are approved.

Sandlin has adamantly maintained that Tony is well cared for, and there are no public safety concerns. However, as any animal advocate knows, being kept in a small enclosure in the conditions of diesel fumes, constant traffic noise, and taunting by humans is not the way an exotic animal such as Tony should live. Since Tony cannot live in the wild, life in a sanctuary, where he would have a huge expanse of property in which to run, stimulation appropriate for a big cat, proper food, and the nurturing of professional caretakers is what is best for Tony. He deserves to spend what is left of his life in peace and serenity.

If you wish to add your voice for Tony, please consider even just a small donation to the ADLF to help them with this crucial legal battle for Tony. You can read more about all that ADLF has done and continue to do for Tony, as well as make a donation to help with his legal costs at the following web address:

Animal Legal Defense Fund. Click on the “Donate” button on that page.

Tony is a beautiful living, breathing being, with feelings and emotions. He deserves to finally be free of this nightmare, and know what it is like to find true peace. While he can never be sent into the wild, a sanctuary specializing in big cats will offer him the next best thing. Please help the ADLF win this crucial lawsuit for Tony. He needs the help of advocates now more than ever, so he can live out what is left of his life, as close as possible to the way nature intended, with peace, quiet, and most of all, real love.

RELATED LINKS

Click here for the Animal Legal Defense Fund information on the lawsuit to free Tony.

Click here for the article: “Victory for Tony the truck stop tiger“.

Click here for the article: “Tony the truck stop tiger still waiting“.

Click here for the website: “Tony’s Story: Free Tony the Tiger“.

http://www.examiner.com/article/tony-the-truck-stop-tiger-still-waiting-for-sanctuary

Posted September 17, 2014 by freetonythetiger in Uncategorized

New rules may force local truck stop to give up tiger   Leave a comment

new tony rules
NOTE: Video at: http://www.nbc33tv.com/news/louisiana-politics/new-exotic-animal-restric
POSTED: Tuesday, September 2, 2014 – 11:09pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, September 3, 2014 – 11:59am

The owner of Tiger Truck Stop is fighting a new set of rules that might force his to give up his main attraction.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is considering new restrictions on exotic animals and held a public hearing about them on Tuesday.

Among the proposed amendments is a change in the definition of a zoo, which would exclude Tiger Truck Stop.

“A zoo is defined as more than one species or more than one animal. Who are you targeting other than me?” asked Michael Sandlin, owner of Tiger Truck Stop.

The Grosse Tete truck stop would not meet several of the new requirements for a zoo: that it be accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums; that it be publicly- or municipally-owned; and that it have more than one animal.

Animal activists say the truck stop is no place for a tiger. Some of the people who attended the hearing described seeing very poor living conditions. “What I saw were several throwing rocks at Tony, and I had to intervene to stop them,” recalled Carney Anne Nasser, a Tulane Law School professor and member of the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

Tiger Truck Stop’s permit has survived several attempts by activists to have him moved. Employees say the fight has gotten personal.

“We’ve been threatened to be bombed. We’ve been threatened to be shot at when we leave work,” stated Melissa Macy. “That’s a terrorist action. Not an activist, that’s a terrorist.”

The proposal would also ban people from owning exotic animals, like cougars or bears, and slowly phase out private ownership of monkeys. Additionally, it gives agents more power to make unannounced inspections. “Very few people can afford the nutritional requirements of wildlife, their very specific biological needs, and certainly their environmental and housing needs,” said Hilton Cole, Director of Animal Control for East Baton Rouge Parish.

Sandlin defended the way Tony lives, both the way he’s cared for and the way visitors are protected. He claims that the truck stop, which is accredited by the United States Zoological Association, is the safest possible place for him.

“I would say, you could take it from any angle, and see that there are more accidents at AZA-accredited zoos than private zoos anywhere in this country,” he stated.

The public comment period is over for the proposal. The comments will be viewed by the secretary of the department and the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission. A decision can be made either to adopt, modify, or reject the changes between the middle of October and July 2015, but sources say the decision should be made sometime this fall.

Sandlin indicated that he would file a lawsuit against the state if the proposal is enacted.

Via @ALDF: Urgent Action for Louisiana’s Animals!   Leave a comment

Reposting this important action alert from the Animal Legal Defense Fund. PLEASE visit this ink: http://aldf.org/urgent-action-for-louisianas-animals/ to urge the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to adopt the proposed changes to the state’s dangerous wild animal regulations. Comments are due by this Saturday, August 30. Please share. Thank You!

Urgent Action for Louisiana’s Animals!

Next week, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will consider positive new amendments to its regulations governing the possession of big exotic cats, non-human primates, bears, wolves, and other dangerous wild animals.

tiger-cc-cynicalview-article-image-feature

These amendments will close a loophole that might otherwise enable unscrupulous exhibitors to obtain an exemption from the state’s restrictions on private possession of dangerous species. They also will allow for the Department to make key, unannounced inspections at facilities that house dangerous wild animals. While ALDF continues to seek justice and freedom for Tony the tiger, the welfare of other captive wild and exotic animals will remain at risk unless these important regulatory changes are made.

We need your help today to make sure that the Department does the right thing and adopts these critical changes!

Take Action

Urge the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to adopt the proposed changes to the state’s dangerous wild animal regulations. Comments are due by this Saturday, August 30.

Take Action Button

Spread the Word

Share this action on Facebook and Twitter using the links below, or click on the image to view the action on Facebook.

i-believe-the-law-should-protect-all-animals-500px

Join Us in Louisiana

If you live in Louisiana, please also join ALDF attorneys and attend next week’s hearing to speak up in support of these proposed amendments. Those who profit off of the cruel exploitation of wild and exotic animals have mobilized to oppose these important changes, so it’s critical that we have as many supporters as possible at the hearing to make our voices heard!

When:

Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Where:

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Louisiana Room
2000 Quail Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70898

Posted August 26, 2014 by freetonythetiger in Uncategorized

Video For Tony ~ Thank You Tiger The Cat ~ @TigerTheCatFat   Leave a comment

tiger the cat

Tiger The Cat

I’m continually amazed and touched by the love and support people and “anipals” demonstrate for Tony.

On Twitter, “Tony” has many friends, or anipals / furiends as he refers to them. This past week a cat named Tiger tweeted to Tony and they struck up a friendship.

Tiger was so moved by his big cousin’s plight, he made the following video for Tony and blogged about him too.

See Tiger’s post here: http://tigerthecat.com/tiger-cat-supports-big-cousin-tony-tiger/

Thanks Tiger!

Posted August 9, 2014 by freetonythetiger in Uncategorized

Pictures of Tony ~ July 31, 2014   Leave a comment

New pictures of Tony are always appreciated. If you visit Tony, document your visit with pictures and video, and please share them with us. Send us a link via Twitter @FreeTonyTiger or email: roar4tony@yahoo.com

Thank you H. Green for sharing your pictures of Tony with us taken on July 31, 2014

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Posted August 3, 2014 by freetonythetiger in Uncategorized

Remembering Tony and ALL Tigers on International Tiger Day ~ July 29, 2014   Leave a comment

Please click picture for ways to help tigers! Courtesy of Animal Defenders International

Please click picture for ways to help tigers! Courtesy of Animal Defenders International

 

International Tiger Day, or Global Tiger Day – created at the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit in 2010 – is celebrated on July 29th. Its’ goal is to raise world awareness for wild tigers and support for their conservation. Tigers are magnificent majestic big cats who deserve our utmost respect, protection and advocacy. We would like to do our part to help promote this day by posting actions and sites to visit to learn more about wild tigers,  ways we can help tigers in captivity…and to of course show our love and support for Tony ~ who has himself raised awareness to the plight of captive tigers in the U.S.

WILD TIGERS

Sadly there are only an estimated 3,200 of Tony’s “cousins” remaining in the wild,  a decline of 97% since the turn of the century.

Six sub-species remain: Amur, Bengal, Sumatran, Indo-Chinese, Malayan, South China (functionally extinct – has not been sighted in the wild for more than 25 years); Three are extinct: Bali, Caspian and Javan.

Poaching, human-tiger conflict, loss of habitat and prey are the main threats to tigers. Learn more about wild tigers and how we can help support efforts to save them:

http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/endangered_species/tigers2/tiger_wwf_double_tiger_number/

http://wwf.panda.org/?226391/GlobalTigerDay2014

 

“Of those people who privately own a tiger here in the US, the majority aren’t trained to care for animals in general, let alone tigers. And, unbelievable as it sounds, there is no complete record of captive tigers in America.

These tigers could be victims of wildlife crime. Without strict regulations on the private ownership of tigers, we cannot prevent them, or their bones and skins, from finding a way into the lucrative illegal international black market.” via World Wildlife Fund.

Protect tigers: Keep them out of American backyards!

https://support.worldwildlife.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=797

CAPTIVE U.S. TIGERS

Tony is one of the estimated 5,000 or more privately owned tigers in the United States and his plight has definitely raised awareness to this serious issue. Captive U.S. tigers are used in roadside zoos and attractions, photo ops and exhibitions, entertainment shows and circuses, pseudo-sanctuaries, bred for profit or are owned as “pets.” From IFAW: “Private possession of big cats is a legal patchwork: 30 states ban private possession, 14 states allow possession with a permit, and 6 states have absolutely no restrictions on private possession at all.” ( http://www.ifaw.org/united-states/big-cat-advocates-map )

  • S 1381 / HR 1998 ~ THE BIG CATS AND PUBLIC SAFETY PROTECTION ACT

One of the most important ways we can help tigers like Tony and other captive big cats in the United States is to support HR 1998 ~ The Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act. This bill would prohibit the private possession and breeding of captive big cats in the United States except at highly-qualified facilities like accredited zoos where they can be properly cared for and safely managed. It would only allow breeding at accredited zoos, along with some research or educational institutions.

You can take action by asking your Congress Members for their co-sponsorship and support of this bill; visit this link from Big Cat Rescue – Tampa FL:

http://bigcatrescue.org/big-cats-and-public-safety-protection-hr1998-s1381/

 

  • HR 4525 ~TEAPA – The Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act

Please also support Animal Defenders International’s campaign Stop Circus Suffering by asking your Representative to co-sponsor and support HR 4525 – TEAPA – The Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act. Animals suffer and are abused horrifically in circuses – this bill would end the use of exotic animals in circuses and traveling shows. Visit this link to learn more:

http://www.stopcircussuffering.com/get-involved/usa-get-involved/

and take action:

http://www.stopcircussuffering.com/get-involved/usa-get-involved/support-teapa/

teapa tigers

Tigers with Cole Brothers Circus – 2014

 

  • TONY

 

tigers are not

THANK YOU to EVERYONE for your support and dedication to Tony. On Twitter Tony is known as “the captive tiger ambassador” because so many people around the world have come to learn about the problem of captive tigers in the United States from him and his tweets.

We support ALDF’s continued efforts to secure Tony’s release to a reputable big cat sanctuary, three of which have standing offers of a home for him:

Big Cat Rescue in Tampa Florida ~ http://bigcatrescue.org/

The Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone MN ~ http://www.wildcatsanctuary.org/

The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg CO ~ http://www.wildanimalsanctuary.org/

We ask Tony’s friends to remain supportive and positive for Tony and continue to network for him:

  • Tony’s change.org petition asking the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to enforce the law remains open:

http://www.change.org/petitions/ldwf-ensure-tony-the-tiger-is-released-to-a-reputable-sanctuary

Petitions are a good medium to keep people supportive, involved as well as demonstrate the interest and support Tony has worldwide.

Note: LDWF refused to enforce state law though they had the authority to seize Tony.
LDWF’s position statement on privately ownership of tigers:

“It is the Department’s position that private possession of tigers poses a significant hazard to public safety and is detrimental to the health of the animal. Prolonged confinement is by its nature stressful to tigers and proper long-term care by experienced persons is essential to the health of the animal.”

Join ~ Follow ~ Share these social networking sites for Tony

  • Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/FreeTonyTheTiger

  • Twitter:

@FreeTonyTiger http://twitter.com/#!/FreeTonyTiger

@TonyTiger2000: http://twitter.com/#!/TonyTiger2000

  • Instagram:

http://instagram.com/tonythetruckstoptiger/#

  • Pinterest:

http://pinterest.com/tonytiger2000/

  • Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/user/FreeTonyTheTiger

  • WordPress:

http://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/

  • If you visit Tony, document your visit with pictures and/or video and please share them. Send us a link via Twitter, on Tony’s Facebook page or email: roar4tony@yahoo.com

Special Thanks to Animal Legal Defense Fund for their extraordinary representation of Tony and dedication to him. Please visit their site to learn more about them and their tremendous work to help animals through the legal system and support their Animal Bill of Rights http://animalbillofrights.aldf.org/

Please share this post and LET’S ROAR FOR TIGERS on INTERNATIONAL TIGER DAY!

roaring

Posted July 29, 2014 by freetonythetiger in Uncategorized

Tony ~ 14 Years At Tiger Truck Stop   Leave a comment

july 4 tonyJuly 4th is a day when we celebrate our nation’s independence ~ in essence our freedom ~ in contrast it’s a fitting day (albeit disheartening) to also mark Tony’s 14 years at the truck stop – exploited as a roadside attraction.

sign comparisonAccording to the sign posted on Tony’s cage, he was born in July 2000 – this month marking his 14th year. It is reported that Tony was acquired by Michael Sandlin as a 6 month old cub from a Texas breeder.

Tony’s saga has been a roller-coaster series of events including:

ALDF’s court victories:

  • Judge Caldwell granting a permanent injunction blocking LDWF from issuing a new permit to him, and ordering the current permit revoked

  • The Louisiana Court of Appeal upholding the lower court’s rulings

  • The Louisiana Supreme Court denying a petition to review the Louisiana Court of Appeal’s ruling

And the shameful SB 250:

After exhausting all of his options via the courts, Michael Sandlin enlisted his state Senator, Rick Ward, to propose a bill, SB 250, to exempt himself from Louisiana state law banning private ownership of big cats. This outrageous bill passed both the Senate and House and was signed by Governor Jindal recently. Immediately the Animal Legal Defense issued a statement saying they would challenge the validity of SB 250. On June 25, 2014 ALDF filed suit against the State of Louisiana for violating the Louisiana Constitution by passing a law that exempts a single individual from existing state public safety and animal welfare laws. Defendants include the State of Louisiana, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), the Tiger Truck Stop, and Michael Sandlin. For complete information visit: http://aldf.org/press-room/press-releases/animal-legal-defense-fund-files-lawsuit-against-louisiana-for-violating-state-constitution-with-new-tony-the-truck-stop-tiger-law/

SB 250 supporters can argue interminably, but there is no justification whatsoever – legally, ethically or humanely – to make the case for Tony to be kept at the truck stop. Tony has been exploited for 14 years; tigers are not gimmicks, attractions, props or pets. They are magnificent, dangerous big cats who deserve our respect and protection. Tony deserves the opportunity to retire to a peaceful, healthy, natural environment. No animal should be exploited as a roadside attraction at a truck stop.

 

We support ALDF’s continued efforts to secure Tony’s release to a reputable big cat sanctuary, three of which have standing offers of a home for him:

Big Cat Rescue in Tampa Florida ~ http://bigcatrescue.org/

The Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone MN ~ http://www.wildcatsanctuary.org/

The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg CO ~ http://www.wildanimalsanctuary.org/

We ask Tony’s friends to remain supportive and positive for Tony and continue to network for him:

  • Tony’s change.org petition asking the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to enforce the law remains open:

http://www.change.org/petitions/ldwf-ensure-tony-the-tiger-is-released-to-a-reputable-sanctuary

Petitions are a good medium to keep people supportive, involved as well as demonstrate the interest and support Tony has worldwide.

Note: LDWF refused to enforce state law though they had the authority to seize Tony.
LDWF’s position statement on privately ownership of tigers:

“It is the Department’s position that private possession of tigers poses a significant hazard to public safety and is detrimental to the health of the animal. Prolonged confinement is by its nature stressful to tigers and proper long-term care by experienced persons is essential to the health of the animal.”

Join ~ Follow ~ Share these social networking sites for Tony

  • Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/FreeTonyTheTiger

  • Twitter:

@FreeTonyTiger http://twitter.com/#!/FreeTonyTiger

@TonyTiger2000: http://twitter.com/#!/TonyTiger2000

  • Instagram:

http://instagram.com/tonythetruckstoptiger/#

  • Pinterest:

http://pinterest.com/tonytiger2000/

  • Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/user/FreeTonyTheTiger

  • WordPress:

http://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/

  • If you visit Tony, document your visit with pictures and/or video and please share them. Send us a link via Twitter, on Tony’s Facebook page or email: roar4tony@yahoo.com
If you visit Tony please share your pictures with us. Email roar4tony@yahoo.com. Thanks V. Perkins for these pictures taken June 2014.

If you visit Tony please share your pictures with us. Email roar4tony@yahoo.com. Thanks V. Perkins for these pictures taken June 2014.

Thanks to ALL of Tony’s friends – your support and dedication to this beautiful tiger is greatly appreciated and so very important in working towards the home and life Tony deserves

Special Thanks to Animal Legal Defense Fund for their extraordinary representation of Tony and dedication to him. Please visit their site to learn more about them and their tremendous work to help animals through the legal system and support their Animal Bill of Rights http://animalbillofrights.aldf.org/

We close with two videos: the first from ALDF when they visited Tony at the truck stop, and the second from Big Cat Rescue in Tampa FL of one of their residents TJ the tiger enjoying his “vacation” in their newly built 2.5 acre habitat “Vacation Rotation.” Our vision is to see Tony run, play, swim and experience the magnificent big cat he is at one of the sanctuaries aforementioned in this post and to “Be a Tiger” like TJ in this video. Those who deny Tony this opportunity truly lack compassion and respect for him but we are not deterred by their corrupt actions and ignorance.

We remain steadfast in our efforts to see Tony have the home, care and life he deserves.

 

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