Archive for the ‘Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz PC’ Tag

From ALDF: Tony, the Truck Stop Tiger 11.29.2012   Leave a comment

tony 01The Truck Stops Here…

From the stench of fuel to the drone of diesel engines and the isolation of his roadside prison, Tony, a 12 year-old Siberian-Bengal tiger, has endured more than a decade of misery at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana. That is why the Animal Legal Defense Fund has taken to the Louisiana courts to free Tony the Tiger from this truck stop nightmare. We won our lawsuit to prevent Tony’s “owner” Michael Sandlin from renewing his permit, but Sandlin appealed, and we are waiting for the Louisiana Court of Appeal to hear the case. Sandlin subsequently filed his own lawsuit to overturn the state’s ban on big cat ownership. ALDF sought to have the case dismissed and is waiting for the trial court to decide if the suit will move forward.

Sandlin has exploited tigers for over 20 years: buying, breeding, selling, and exhibiting tigers in poor conditions for his own profit. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited Sandlin’s truck stop in the past for unsanitary feeding practices; mishandling tigers; and failure to provide veterinary care, shelter from inclement weather, clean drinking water, and knowledgeable employees to care for the tigers. In 2003, Sandlin’s animal welfare violations sparked public outcry, and three tigers were removed to a Tennessee sanctuary. The USDA allowed Sandlin to keep one tiger: Tony. He has been alone ever since.tony 02

Life at the truck stop is harmful to an animal with such sensitive hearing and acute sense of smell, says veterinarian Jennifer Conrad, who has cared for captive large cats for nearly two decades. After visiting Tony, she declared he is “in poor condition and needs intervention on his behalf.” In addition to exposure to noise and diesel fumes, Tony is taunted by truck stop visitors. His enclosure lacks adequate enrichment. He has no pool of water to cool off in the blazing heat of the summer. As a result of this stressful confinement, Tony constantly paces in his enclosure, putting him at risk for dangerous and painful veterinary conditions.

His suffering demonstrates the problem of privately-owned tigers, whose numbers exceed that of wild tigers. There are less than 500 Siberian and only 2,500 Bengal tigers left in the wild. In their natural habitat, tigers live alone, travel many miles to hunt, and avoid humans.

ALDF Sues to Have Tony Freed

In 2010, ALDF sued the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for unlawfully issuing Sandlin a permit to keep and exhibit Tony. ALDF was joined by several Louisiana residents as co-plaintiffs, including Warren Triche, the state representative who authored the Louisiana state law banning private ownership of tigers. In November 2011, Judge Michael Caldwell ordered LDWF to revoke Sandlin’s permit and prohibited the agency from issuing future permits. Sandlin appealed this decision to the Louisiana Court of Appeal for the First Circuit. We have briefed the case and are awaiting an oral argument date. Once the court hears our arguments, we will await a final decision. Meanwhile, Sandlin continues to exhibit Tony without a permit.

LDWF publicly stated it intends to enforce Louisiana law when litigation has concluded—although they could seize Tony now, at their discretion. State law bars Sandlin from owning and exhibiting a tiger because he did not legally own Tony when Louisiana’s big cat ban went into effect, and because Sandlin does not live on the premises where Tony is held captive. After all, who would want to live in a truck stop? Not Sandlin… and definitely not Tony.

ALDF Intervenes to Defend Big Cat Law

After losing his permit, Sandlin filed his own lawsuit against the State of Louisiana, the LDWF, and Iberville Parish to overturn the state ban on private possession of big cats. This suit flies in the face of national sentiment, public safety, and animal welfare concerns. After the massacre of 48 exotic animals in Ohio in 2011, state and federal bills (like HR 4122) are being considered to prohibit ownership of big cats. Although ALDF was not named as a defendant in Sandlin’s suit, we successfully petitioned the court to allow us to intervene in the case to support Louisiana’s right to safeguard public safety and the welfare of animals like Tony. LDWF and ALDF each filed exceptions to Sandlin’s case, seeking to have the lawsuit dismissed, and a decision is expected soon.

Next Steps: We Wait While Tony Paces

The world waits with bated breath for the results of ALDF’s suit and of Sandlin’s appeal. Meanwhile Tony remains trapped at the truck stop. ALDF’s legal battle for Tony has drawn support from high profile advocates like Leonardo DiCaprio and True Blood’s Kristin Bauer van Straten and has galvanized activists around the world. The law firm of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell, & Berkowitz, P.C. is providing pro bono assistance.

We are currently waiting for the Louisiana Court of Appeal to hear our case. We are also waiting for the trial court to decide if Sandlin’s suit will move forward. Tony’s fate is tied up in the courts, but ALDF is keeping the pressure on.

We will post updates on Tony’s case as they become available.

NOTE: Article courtesy of  Animal Legal Defense Fund. You can leave a comment of thanks to ALDF and support for Tony at the end of this article here: http://aldf.org/article.php?id=2233 on ALDF’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AnimalLegalDefenseFund and retweet on Twitter: https://twitter.com/aldf/status/274297585769013248

Let’s continue our positive dedicated advocacy on behalf of Tony. Thank you.

Congratulations Baker and Donelson   Leave a comment

Congratulations! Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, Receives Pro Bono Award for Efforts in Animal Law from Animal Legal Defense Fund. Attorneys from Baker Donelson are providing pro bono assistance in Tony’s case.

August 28, 2012

(New Orleans, LA/August 28, 2012) Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, has been named the 2011 Advancement in Animal Law Pro Bono Achievement Award winner by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF).

Over the last two years, Baker Donelson attorneys Monica A. Frois, Laura E. Carlisle, Erin Pelleteri, Brandy N. Sheely and Anne Derbes Wittmann have provided assistance to the ALDF in its efforts to secure the release of a Siberian-Bengal tiger. “Tony the Truck Stop Tiger” has been confined as a roadside exhibit at a Louisiana truck stop for more than ten years. Last year, a permanent injunction was granted against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries preventing it from renewing the truck stop owner’s annual permit when it expired at the end of 2011.  Since that time, the truck stop owner has filed separate litigation in an effort to keep Tony at the truck stop.  Baker Donelson is continuing to assist ALDF in its fight to free Tony.

The case has galvanized the ALDF’s membership, and the Firm’s support, experience and commitment of pro bono hours is helping the ALDF achieve its mission of protecting the lives and advancing the interests of animals through the legal system.

Through its commitment to pro bono representation, Baker Donelson provides legal services to groups and individuals likely to be marginalized in the legal system due to economic barriers. Over the years, the Firm’s attorneys have provided a variety of counsel to many populations, including immigrants, refugees, the elderly and the impoverished. Baker Donelson’s efforts include work on a wide range of matters, such as advocating for the homeless and organizations that serve the homeless, death penalty litigation, providing corporate legal services to non-profit organizations and much more.

Additional information on Baker Donelson’s Pro Bono efforts is available at http://www.bakerdonelson.com/pro-bono.

A national, non-profit organization, the ALDF was founded in 1979 by attorneys in the field of animal law pursuing the enforcement of anti-cruelty laws and humane treatment of animals. For more information, please visit www.aldf.org

http://www.bakerdonelson.com/baker-donelson-receives-pro-bono-award-for-efforts-in-animal-law/

ALDF Back in Court For Tony TODAY!   Leave a comment

The Animal Legal Defense Fund is back in court TODAY for Tony. This hearing is Mr. Sandlin’s lawsuit against the State; the court will also hear ALDF’s and the State’s exceptions which request Mr. Sandlin’s case be dismissed.

Updates will be posted when made available.

Positive energy for Tony and ALDF – and thanks to ALDF, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, and ALL of Tony’s wonderful friends who continue to support his release to a reputable accredited big cat sanctuary.

Tony’s petition remains open: http://www.change.org/petitions/ldwf-ensure-tony-the-tiger-is-released-to-a-reputable-sanctuary

More at: http://aldf.org/article.php?id=1675 and for an overview of Tony’s case see: http://aldf.org/article.php?id=2053#

From PawNation: Celebs Who Support The Paws – Tony & Leo   Leave a comment

While reading this article: Vet Saves His Own Cat’s Life After Car Accident on PawNation there was a link to a photo gallery of celebrities who advocate for animals  – look who was found while browsing through it:

http://www.pawnation.com/2012/05/11/celebs-who-support-the-paws#photo=6

Mr. DiCaprio voiced his support for Tony on Twitter and Facebook last year stating “We Need To Act Now”

Thanks to all of Tony’s friends for remaining positive and supportive of Tony and the tremendous efforts of The Animal Legal Defense Fund and Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC

Latest update from ALDF can be found at: Making Sense of the Current Status of the Tony the Tiger Cases

Please also visit the direct link to the photo gallery: http://www.pawnation.com/2012/05/11/celebs-who-support-the-paws#photo=6

Petitions for Tony are still open; please sign and share.

Change.org Petition For Tony – January 16, 2012

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

Care2 Petition For Tony Is Still Open (Over 50,000 Signatures)

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/129/272/008/

ALDF Back in Court Demanding State Take Action on Tony the Truck Stop Tiger, Now Exhibited Without a Permit   Leave a comment

From The Animal Legal Defense Fund:

April 5th, 2012

After Baton Rouge Court’s Ruling Revoking Invalid Permit, ALDF Files Lawsuit Demanding Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Put an End to Owner’s Illegal Possession of the Big Cat

For immediate release

Contact:
Lisa Franzetta, Animal Legal Defense Fund
Megan Backus, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Baton Rouge, La. – This morning, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed a lawsuit to force the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to do its job of enforcing Louisiana’s big cat ban in the case of Tony, Grosse Tete’s “truck stop tiger.” Michael Sandlin’s permit to keep Tony, an eleven-year-old Siberian-Bengal tiger, expired in December, yet he has continued to keep Tony confined at the Tiger Truck Stop, in open violation of state law. ALDF’s lawsuit would compel the Department to take steps to enforce the law and report Sandlin’s illegal possession of Tony to local law enforcement for prosecution. In addition, ALDF, along with two Louisiana residents, today filed a petition to intervene in Sandlin’s current lawsuit against the state; the interveners seek to defend the state’s law banning private ownership of big cats. The law offices of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell, & Berkowitz, P.C. are providing pro bono assistance with the lawsuit and the petition to intervene.

In November 2011, the East Baton Rouge District Court granted ALDF’s request for a permanent injunction against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, ordering the Department to revoke the permit that allowed Sandlin to display Tony as a roadside exhibit at the truck stop where he has languished for over a decade. Despite the fact that Sandlin’s permit expired in December and cannot be renewed, he continues to display Tony, in violation of the big cat law, which the Department is responsible for enforcing.

“The state of Louisiana has explicit regulations designed to protect tigers like Tony, and the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is required to enforce them” says ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells. “The court has already granted Tony and ALDF a victory by ruling that Michael Sandlin’s permit to display Tony was illegal. Sandlin, now without a permit, cannot be allowed to continue to exploit this tiger with impunity.”

Meanwhile, Sandlin and the Tiger Truck Stop are suing the state, arguing that Louisiana’s ban on private ownership of big cats like Tony is unconstitutional—flying in the face of the current national sentiment that dangerous exotic animals should be more strictly regulated. Ohio is currently considering a bill that would ban new ownership of captive wild animals, following the massacre of 48 animals including lions, tigers, and bears, who were released by their Zanesville owner last October. Additionally, in February, a bipartisan bill—the “Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act”—was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that would prohibit the breeding and private possession of captive big cats. ALDF’s petition in intervention supports Louisiana’s power to safeguard public safety and animal welfare through such legislative measures.

http://www.aldf.org/article.php?id=2023

FTTT Note: Please support Tony’s petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/ldwf-ensure-tony-the-tiger-is-released-to-a-reputable-sanctuary

From ALDF: Spotlight on Tony’s Pro Bono Team: Attorneys Frois, Pelleteri, and Sheely   Leave a comment

The Animal Legal Defense Fund would never be able to use the law to advance the interests of animals without the support of legal professionals nationwide. In this continuing series of spotlights, ALDF’s Animal Law Program salutes attorneys Monica Frois, Erin Pelleteri, and Brandy Sheely.

The laws intended to protect animals in this country are only as strong as the people willing to defend them. Thankfully for a lonely tiger named Tony, there are legal professionals like Monica Frois, Erin Pelleteri, and Brandy Sheely. Attorneys with New Orleans-based Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, this pro bono team has been providing tireless assistance to ALDF on behalf of Tony, an 11-year-old Siberian-Bengal tiger, who has been on exhibit as a roadside attraction at a Grosse Tete, La., truck stop since 2000.

The truck stop’s owner, Michael Sandlin, has continued to refuse to relinquish Tony, even though the big cat lives in a chain-link enclosure without trees, a large water feature, complex vegetation, or any of the other enrichment that would simulate a natural environment and allow him to perform innate behaviors. Confined to a cage in the parking lot, Tony — who in nature would be roaming at least several square miles of territory — paces the floor, a sign that he is experiencing extreme stress. And because Sandlin sent three other tigers away after the USDA placed a limit on how many he could exhibit, Tony has been living alone since 2003.

In 2011, Monica, Erin, and Brandy, together with ALDF, requested a permanent injunction against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to revoke the annual permit that allows Sandlin to display Tony. On November 2, a Louisiana district judge granted the injunction, and although there is still more to do, this victory has helped pave the way for a future in which Tony can live in a sanctuary better suited to his needs.

“We’re relieved that Tony will be in an environment that is more humane and far more suitable than a cage at a truck stop,” says Monica. “We knew the law was on our side and are proud that we were able to assist the ALDF in ensuring that Tony’s cause was heard.”

Monica concentrates her practice on health care matters as well as complex litigation, insurance coverage, legal ethics, and professional responsibility litigation. She was appointed by the president of the Louisiana State Bar Association to serve on the Medical/Legal Interprofessional Committee of the Louisiana State Medical Society and Louisiana State Bar Association, a role that combined her experience representing the health care and legal industries. Monica graduated from Tulane University Law School in 1990.

Erin’s litigation experience includes defending insurers in matters related to serious personal injury, medical malpractice property claims, commercial general liability and premises liability. A 2006 graduate of Loyola University School of Law, she has also helped to defend nationwide collective actions brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act and related class actions across the country. Her tort experience includes defending against transportation-related claims in the railroad industry, product liability claims against equipment manufacturers and medical liability claims against a durable medical equipment provider.

Brandy earned her J.D. from Tulane University Law School, graduating magna cum laude in 2004. Like Monica, she concentrates her practice primarily in health care litigation, specifically in representing health care providers in medical malpractice and contract dispute claims. Brandy’s practice also includes business, bankruptcy, and commercial litigation, including the representation of secured creditors in connection with the enforcement and/or protection of their security interests in state, federal, and bankruptcy courts.

We at the Animal Legal Defense Fund are so grateful for the many hours of hard work these attorneys have devoted to assisting us in our legal quest to free Tony.

For more information about Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, please visit www.bakerdonelson.com. You can learn more about Tony’s case here.

To become a member of ALDF’s Animal Law Program and assist animals as part of our pro bono network, please complete and return our Attorney Membership Application.

Article Courtesy of The Animal Legal Defense Fund

Direct Link: http://www.aldf.org/article.php?id=1962

Roar On For Tony & Friends in 2012!   Leave a comment

Tony December 17, 2011 (Photo Courtesy of & ©Cloversweed 2011)

With the start of a new year, special thoughts go out to the beautiful tiger we all love and care about: Stay Strong Tony, we are resolute in fighting for the home and life you deserve. One of the best “gifts” we can give Tony is our advocacy for his release to a reputable humane sanctuary. Please see: “How Long Should You Try? Until.” for important ways we can continue to support Tony. Updates will be posted when they become available.

Sincerest Thanks to ALL of Tony’s friends. Your tremendous support and dedication to him positively impacts his release to a proper home. As we voice our concerns for Tony, hopefully we also raise awareness to the problem of privately owned tigers in the United States. What more poignant representative for these tigers could there be than Tony, who has spent his life as a roadside attraction at a truck stop.

On Saturday Tony’s Care2 petition reached 45,000 signatures! The petition is still open and it’s a good medium to keep Tony’s story networked and people involved. A look at the signatures confirms that Tony has touched the hearts  and minds of people worldwide who support his relocation to a proper sanctuary.

Advocating for Tony has opened up a global network of friends with important animal welfare issues – and supporting each other is vital as we advocate for the welfare and rights of animals. Twitter has been a great vehicle for Tony. If you follow “Tony” @TonyTiger2000 on Twitter, you may know some of his “friends” who are also in dire situations and need our help: @LucyLiberte and @AbusedNYCHorse

Please take action on these issues if you agree that keeping a lone elephant in a zoo is cruel and the carriage-horse industry in New York City is inhumane.

Lucy spends a majority of her life indoors.

Lucy ( @LucyLiberte ) is a 36 year old elephant who lives alone at the Edmonton Valley Zoo. Lucy was captured from the wild in Sri Lanka when she was a baby and sent to the zoo in 1977. Because of the cold Edmonton weather Lucy spends a majority of her time indoors in her barn. Lucy has a very dedicated group of friends and organizations like ZooCheck Canada and Friends of Lucy who are working towards her release to an elephant sanctuary:  The Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) or The Elephant Sanctuary

You can read more about Lucy and how you can help her at these sites:

http://www.savelucy.ca/
http://www.friendsoflucy.ca/

Follow @AbusedNYCHorse on Twitter

 

 

@AbusedNYCHorse tweets for an end to the carriage horse industry in NYC. There have been accidents involving carriage horses as well as horses collapsing; one recent tragic incident saw a horse named Charlie collapse and die on a NYC street. These beautiful animals are worked everyday in all weather conditions and must contend with dangerous traffic and unhealthy inhumane conditions.

How you can help:

Sign these petitions:
http://www.ny-class.org/action/petition
http://www.change.org/petitions/ban-horse-drawn-carriages-in-new-york-city-new-bill-needs-support

More information:

NYClass: http://www.ny-class.org/
Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages: http://www.banhdc.org

Another petition from our good friends The Animal Legal Defense Fund:
Help Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages in New York City: http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5154/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=8993

Keep up to date with The Animal Legal Defense Fund and their tremendous work for the welfare and rights of all animals by visiting them at the following links:

http://www.aldf.org
https://www.facebook.com/AnimalLegalDefenseFund
http://twitter.com/ALDFAnimalLaw
http://www.youtube.com/user/ALDFstaff
ALDF for Tony: http://www.aldf.org/tony

 Wildcat Haven Sanctuary Update: WCH Sanctuary exceeded their goal of 4,000 “LIKES” on their Facebook page by January 1, 2012! Each new “LIKE” equaled a $1.00 donation and 828 new friends generated $828.00 for the cats! WCH is a great friend and supporter of Tony and they provide exceptional homes for big cats. From the WCH website: “WildCat Haven is an American Sanctuary Association (ASA) accredited 501(c)3 non-profit, no-kill sanctuary located in Sherwood Oregon committed to providing permanent homes for captive born wildcats. As a true sanctuary we are not open to the public & do not buy, sell, breed or exhibit. ”

Mac and Shirley, residents of WildCat Haven Sanctuary. Photo Credit: ©2011 Karine Aigner / http://www.karineaigner.com/

Visit these WCH sites:

http://www.wildcathaven.org/
http://twitter.com/#!/wildcathaven
http://www.youtube.com/user/wildcathaven
https://www.facebook.com/wildcathaven

Thanks again to ALL of Tony’s friends for your support of him, his friends @LucyLiberte,  @AbusedNYCHorse, Wildcat Haven Sanctuary, and of course to Tony’s legal team The Animal Legal Defense Fund and Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz P.C.

Wishing Everyone A Safe Happy New Year as We Roar On For Tony & Friends in 2012!

Tony The Tiger Wins Again! Freedom Is On The Horizon   Leave a comment

November 2, 2011 4:38 PM | Posted by Borden, Lisa
 

A very exciting day for our New Orleans attorneys, Erin Pelleteri, Brandy Sheely and Monica Frois! After a frustrating remand and a long wait, a Baton Rouge court has ruled that the permit that allowed Tony, a Siberian-Bengal Tiger, to be displayed in a roadside cage at a truck stop must be revoked and cannot be reissued. The ruling means that Tony could soon be on his way to a new home at a wildlife sanctuary, where he can enjoy a more natural environment, freedom to roam, and fresh air. What an amazing transformation this will be for Tony, after more than a decade of pacing back and forth in a cage while breathing exhaust fumes and being gawked at by tourists.

We can’t thank the Animal Legal Defense Fund enough for asking us to be a part of their fight to free Tony, and we can’t wait to see him moved to his new home! Tony, you’re OUTTA THERE!

http://www.bakerdonelson.com/one_good_turn/blog.aspx?entry=119

Important!! Roar On For Tony   2 comments

Photo Courtesy: ISF_Louisiana http://twitpic.com/4ya0tt

We are very appreciative of the recent decision on May 6, 2011 by Judge R. Michael Caldwell who granted a permanent injunction barring the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries from issuing any further permits to Tony’s owner Mr. Michael Sandlin. While the decision is a positive action for Tony, the court refused to order the LDWF to revoke the current permit, which expires on December 14, 2011. Tony remains at the truck stop until then.

“Even though the court refused to order the Department to revoke the current permit, the Department retains the authority to do so on its own if it chooses.” Source: http://aldf.org/article.php?id=1711

There is no reason why Tony must languish and suffer at the truck stop until mid December. It’s important to continue supporting Tony and advocating for his early release to an accredited, reputable and humane big cat sanctuary and to keep his story highly visible.

Two such sanctuaries, Big Cat Rescue of Tampa FL and The Wildcat Sanctuary of Sandstone MN both have publicly offered homes for Tony where he would be provided with a natural habitat, proper diet, medical care, and enrichment.

How You Can Help Tony:

You can support Tony by signing and sharing his two ALDF sponsored petitions: http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5154/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=6207 and http://www.change.org/petitions/speak-out-for-tony-the-truck-stop-tiger

It’s very important that all correspondence for Tony be done in a respectable focused manner. While we are all very passionate and concerned about Tony, his health and welfare, please remember polite and focused letters have a better chance of being addressed and our concerns taken seriously. When you advocate for Tony, you are representing him – he deserves the utmost respect as do the individual(s) we are writing to. You can use the text of the ALDF petitions listed above as references to construct your letter.

Voice your concerns for Tony, for the current permit to be revoked and for Tony to be relocated to a reputable, established, humane accredited big cat sanctuary that will meet all of his needs to:

Secretary Robert J. Barham
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
P.O. Box 98000
Baton Rouge, LA70898

Phone: (225) 765-2623
Fax: (225) 765-2607

You can also try these e-mail addresses for Mr. Barham; recent correspondence has not bounced back:

sfalcon@wlf.la.gov

rbarham@wlf.la.gov

Online e-mail contact form for the LDWF:

http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/contact

 Notes:

Please continue to share Tony’s story and the petition links with friends, family, on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, etc. Links to recent ALDF posts:

Answers to Your Questions About ALDF’s Win for Tony the Tiger: http://aldf.org/article.php?id=1711

Victory in Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Lawsuit to Free Tony the Truck Stop Tiger: http://www.aldf.org/article.php?id=1700

http://www.aldf.org/tony

Petitions:

http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5154/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=6207  

http://www.change.org/petitions/speak-out-for-tony-the-truck-stop-tiger

Sincere Thanks to The Animal Legal Defense Fund, the attorneys of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, Mr. Warren Triche, Louisiana residents who spoke out for Tony, Big Cat Rescue of Tampa FL, The Wildcat Sanctuary of Sandstone MN, change.org, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kristin Bauer, Ian Somerhalder, and to ALL of Tony’s friends around the world for caring and never giving up on him. Roar On…

ALDF and Baker Donelson Join Forces to Free Tony the Truck Stop Tiger   Leave a comment

This post from Tony’s good friends Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC who provided pro bono assitance to The Animal Legal Defense Fund on behalf of Tony. Tony’s supporters greatly appreciate the tremendous dedication from both The ALDF and the attorneys of Baker & Donelson in obtaining a victory for Tony.

May 17, 2011 3:36 PM | Posted by Borden, Lisa

Pro bono work is nearly always rewarding (in the truest sense), but the joy of helping someone in need is also often tinged with sadness at the client’s plight. Often we are able to solve one part of the client’s situation, maybe even a major part, but overall life circumstances remain difficult. It’s not often we get to savor the sheer enjoyment of freeing a client from a life of confinement and mistreatment. Even less often is that client a Siberian tiger named Tony . . . .

Tony the Truck Stop Tiger is a ten-year old tiger who has lived virtually his entire life as a roadside attraction at a Louisiana truck stop. Sadly, Tony has been kept in a small bare cage at the side of the road, used to draw tourists to the truck stop. This magnificent animal’s existence has been reduced to pacing back and forth while cars and trucks drive past belching exhaust fumes, and people stand outside his cage to point and stare at him.

Tony’s plight is especially sad when you realize that there are more privately owned tigers in the United States today than are left in the wild throughout the world. Like Tony, many of them are kept as sideshows and photo opportunities, living in mean conditions without companionship, room to roam, or any semblance of a natural environment. While state and federal authorities fortunately have come to realize over the years how inhumane these situations are, it is taking far too long for new laws and regulations to catch up with those owners who are more interested in making a buck.

We first learned about Tony’s captivity from our friends at the Animal Legal Defense Fund. ALDF was founded by a group of lawyers in 1979, and since that time has been fighting every day for humane treatment of animals and strong enforcement of anti-cruelty laws. Over the years, ALDF has come to the rescue of mistreated animals in substandard shelters, endangered species imperiled by environmental threats, animals being tortured in the name of research, and animals being improperly hunted, just to name a few. Lucky for Tony that the ALDF took up his cause, aided by high profile support from Hollywood luminaries like Leonardo DiCaprio and Kristen Bauer.

We admire the ALDF’s dedication to the defense of animals, and were pleased when they asked us to join their fight to free Tony from the truck stop. Together with ALDF, our New Orleans pro bono team of Monica A. Frois, Erin Pelleteri and Brandy N. Sheely requested a permanent injunction against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to prevent the Department from renewing the annual permit that allows the owner of Grosse Tete’s Tiger Truck Stop to display Tony. On Friday, May 6, 2011, a judge in East Baton Rouge District Court granted the ALDF’s request, paving the way for Tony to be released to a better environment when the current permit expires in December 2011.  ALDF is now exploring possibilities for Tony’s new home in a wildlife sanctuary.

“We’re relieved that Tony will be in an environment that is more humane and far more suitable than a cage at a truck stop,” said Monica Frois. “We knew the law was on our side and are proud that we were able to assist the ALDF in ensuring that Tony’s cause was heard.”

Oh, and we want Leo DiCaprio’s autograph . . . .

http://www.bakerdonelson.com/one_good_turn/blog.aspx?entry=69

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