International Tiger Day 2019   Leave a comment

ROARING for Tony’s wild cousins on International Tiger Day.

International Tiger Day, or Global Tiger Day, was created at the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit in 2010 and is celebrated on July 29th to raise world awareness for wild tigers and support for their conservation. Learn more about wild tigers and the efforts to protect and conserve these majestic big cats:

Approximately 3,900 tigers remain in the wild, up from the previous estimate of as few as 3,200 in 2010. In the United States there are more than 5,000 privately owned tigers. Tiger cubs are exploited for photo ops and cub petting/holding. Tigers languish in deplorable roadside zoos; our Tony the Tiger spent 17 years as a roadside attraction at a truck stop.

One of the ways you can help captive U.S. tigers is to support legislation to ban private ownership. Ask your congress members to support the Big Cat Public Safety Act at

Tony raised tremendous awareness to the serious issue of privately owned tigers in the United States. We honor and remember Tony on International Tiger Day and give a ROAR to the wonderful sanctuaries and organizations who supported his release:

The Animal Legal Defense Fund : Tony’s legal champions

Big Cat Rescue in Tampa FL

The Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone MN

Wildcat Ridge Sanctuary in Scotts Mills, OR

The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keeneburg CO

Thanks to ALL of Tony’s friends for your support, love and dedication over the years. Tony was an amazing tiger who will always be in our hearts.

Run Free “ T “


Posted July 30, 2019 by Free Tony The Tiger in Uncategorized

Tiger or Human, We’re All Individuals   2 comments

Reposting from The Animal Legal Defense Fund – June 12, 2019

Tony The Tiger

In early 2017, after learning that Tony the tiger’s health was failing, we requested that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspect Tony under the Animal Welfare Act. We then submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the inspection report and asked for expedited processing — required under FOIA when delay in providing records “could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or physical safety of an individual.”

The USDA denied our request because the agency considers only humans to be “individuals.” We filed a lawsuit against the USDA, challenging its narrow interpretation of “individual,” arguing that the term includes nonhuman animals whose life or physical safety is at risk.

Though Tony is gone, our fight on his behalf continues. Today the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in our lawsuit.

Learn more about this case here:

Watch oral arguments in ALDF”S “Tony the Tiger: The Individual” case before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit fro June 12, 2019:


Animal Legal Defense Fund Director of Litigation Matthew Liebman

Thank you Matthew and ALDF for continuing to advocate on behalf of Tony and for animals like him.

Tony touched the hearts of so many people all over the world and he will never be forgotten.

I will always be grateful to you and everyone at ALDF for your commitment to Tony and his release to a sanctuary.

I miss Tony and think of him every day. #FreeTonyTiger


Revisited: Beyond The Bars   Leave a comment

A local library in New Jersey hosted programs highlighting poetry. A poem written for Tony, “Beyond The Bars” was submitted and used in a program for children. The children then wrote their own poems, and their poetry and artwork were made into a book. A sixth grade student created the artwork for Tony’s poem and I wanted to share it with Tony’s friends. I think she captured the essence of the poem beautifully. I wrote the poem from Tony’s perspective back in 2010. Tony gave a face – a very handsome one – to the issue of captive tigers in the U.S., and the world learned so much from him. He will always be “The Captive Tiger Ambassador.” Tony holds a very special place in my heart ~ I think of him every day.
I miss you ” T ” #FreeTonyTiger #TonyAlways

“Beyond The Bars”

They stare at me
Through rusted bars
But I look past them
And toward the stars

They watch me pace
But in my mind
I am running free

Look into my eyes
See the blackness
The emptiness inside

Nothing will break
My Spirit – My Will
I hold my head high
A Proud Tiger Still

Thousands like me
Long for peace and respect
To be rescued from prisons
Of abuse and neglect

My body grows tired
After ten long years
Voiceless – Invisible
Tiger Tears

But Striped Hearts Roar
Loud and strong for me
Voices unwavering
Until I am free

Day after day
Faith in “My Stars”
To Be A Tiger
Beyond The Bars

© D. De Santis/FTTT 2010

ALDF Still Fighting For Tony In Court   Leave a comment

From The Animal Legal Defense Fund:

Though Tony is gone, our lawsuit continues. Tony – we haven’t forgotten you, and we won’t stop fighting.

In 2017, when we heard Tony’s health was failing, we asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to inspect him. We submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the inspection report and requested expedited processing, which FOIA requires when delayed disclosure “could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or physical safety of an individual.”

The USDA denied our request, claiming Tony is not an “individual” – the term only applies to humans. We disagree. We filed a lawsuit against the USDA for failing to expedite the records, arguing Tony, and other animals, are individuals under this law.

Learn more:

Posted February 7, 2019 by Free Tony The Tiger in Uncategorized

☮ Peace ♥ Love & Happy New Year   Leave a comment

To ALL of our friends ~ THANK YOU for your friendship, love and support for our amazing TONY the TIGER who we miss SO MUCH.

I imagine Tony is running and playing in the snow surrounded by festive pine trees…miss you so much ” T ” ~ Thank YOU for teaching us all so much about your world and how important it is for us to find our voice to help animals.

Remembering Tony   Leave a comment

One year ago today we lost our beautiful tiger “friend” Tony. I cannot begin to express how special Tony is to me, and how much I love and miss him. I learned so much from Tony about captive tigers and big cats. Tony inspired me to find my voice and become an advocate not only for him but for other issues regarding animals as well.

I always called Tony “The Ambassador” for captive tigers and big cats – to me he always will be. His story and the serious issue of captive tigers and big cats in the United States was known globally.

Each time I visited Tony I promised him we would never give up on him…and we never did. Tony had friends all over the world who cared about him and supported his
release to a reputable big cat sanctuary. He had an awesome legal team, The Animal Legal Defense Fund, who took on his case back in 2010 and brought it to court in 2011. They still are fighting in Tony’s memory to uphold Louisiana’s Big Cat Ban so no other tigers can be exploited as Tony was for all of his 17 years at Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana. ALDF’s work to protect animals and their rights is so important. Please visit them at to learn more about this incredible group of dedicated people who always were there for Tony and to answers all of my questions regarding Tony and his case.

I know we all wished Tony would have had a wonderful sanctuary home, we were so close so many times with the court decisions in Tony’s favor finding the permit issued by LDWF illegal, but sadly appeals caused the case to drag on for years. I like to think that Tony is finally “free” from his concrete and steel bar prison and our majestic striped king is running in tall grass and swimming in crystal blue lakes.

Thank you to these sanctuaries for their support as well:

Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, FL
Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone MN,
The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, CO and
WildCat Ridge Sanctuary in Scotts Mills OR

To ALL of Tony’s amazing friends:
THANK YOU for caring and for your support and love.

We ROARED For Tony…We NEVER Gave Up.

” T ” ~ I will never forget you. Your spirit is with me always. I love you beautiful boy. #FreeTonyTiger

🌈 💙 🐯 💙 🌈

Posted October 16, 2018 by Free Tony The Tiger in Uncategorized

Tribute to My Little Tiger Tony   Leave a comment

Tony Cat supporting ALDF’s #TinyTigers4Tony Campaign

Apologies for the absence…recently I lost my own “little tiger” ~ my beautiful cat coincidentally named Tony. Back in 2008 a very good friend found Tony Cat’s adoption article in a local newspaper, (he was already named Tony by the shelter.) I read Tony’s story and once again felt fate brought me a very special boy. I adopted Tony Cat on September 3, 2008 and we shared almost 10 years together. I was truly blessed to know and share a life with this kind gentle soul. I like to believe my Tony Cat is with his “big cousin,” our beloved Tony the Tiger.

There is not a day that goes by where I don’t think of Tony the Tiger…I love this tiger and I’m so thankful I got to visit him and tell him how much he was loved by his friends and how hard we were all trying to help him. What a beautiful, majestic boy. Tony truly was and always will be the ambassador for captive tigers – he was known world-wide, and raised tremendous awareness to the issue. I’m sorry Tony never got a wonderful sanctuary home.

If you haven’t done so, please sign Animal Legal Defense Fund‘s petition to Tiger Truck Stop owner Michael Sandlin at:

If you ever visited Tony and have pictures you’d like to share please e-mail

One again thank you for your support and understanding.

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