Louisiana bans nearly all private ownership of big cats—and for good reason. The state correctly recognizes the threats that these deadly animals pose to the community. However, a dangerous new bill in the state legislature could undermine these common-sense restrictions, so we need you to speak out now!
The bill, S.B. 250, would singularly appease Michael Sandlin, who has kept Tony the tiger isolated and on display at a truck stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana for more than a decade. His truck stop has been cited by the USDA in the past for unsanitary feeding practices, mishandling of tigers, failure to provide veterinary care, lack of shelter from inclement weather, lack of clean drinking water, and no knowledgeable employees to care for the tigers—but his exhibit has not been shut down. Ownership of Tony was even declared illegal by the Louisiana Court of Appeals, but still, Tony continues to languish.
This is no life for an intelligent, athletic animal who would travel miles every day to hunt for prey in the wild. Tony’s acute sense of smell is assaulted by constant diesel fumes, and his sensitive ears listen to roaring engines and taunts by truck stop visitors. His barren enclosure does not include activities to relieve boredom, and he sits under the scorching sun with no pool or other place to cool off. In a sign of immense psychological distress, Tony constantly paces in his tiny enclosure, putting him at risk for painful physical problems.
Why would Louisiana single out Tony for such mistreatment? A crucial component of the fight for Tony (read more here) is preventing S.B. 250 from passing the House Natural Resources Committee. Please tell the Committee members that Tony the tiger deserves better.