Archive for the ‘Big Cat Rescue of Tampa Florida’ Tag

Tony Is A Finalist For A Shorty Award!! #Shorty4Tony   Leave a comment

finalist shorty 4 tony

Shorty Awards finalists have been announced and for the second year in a row…TONY IS A FINALIST!!

THANKS to ALL of Tony’s friends who nominated, tweeted and shared!  This is a great platform to bring Tony’s story and that of captive tigers to more people.

Each Official Category will have 7 finalists. These include 3 with the most nominations from the public, 3 selected by members of the Real-Time Academy of Short Form Arts & Sciences which is comprised of luminaries from advertising, media, entertainment and the internet, and 1 Wildcard Finalist.”

The winners of the 7th Annual Shorty Awards, as chosen by The Academy, will be revealed at the ceremony on April 20th, 2015 at TheTimesCenter at the New York Times building in New York City.

Please join us in congratulating Tony by sharing this post! Easy share buttons below and if you’re on Twitter be sure to follow @TonyTiger2000 and use the hashtag #Shorty4Tony

Shorty Awards Nominations CLOSED! Thanks For Your Support!   Leave a comment


Shorty Nominations Closed! Finalists Will Be Announced Soon…Thanks For Your Support! Photo ©FreeTonyTheTiger2014


Just a quick note to THANK all of Tony’s friends for their awesome support during the Shorty Awards. Nominations CLOSED on February 19th, 2015; the Shorty Awards website states that “All finalists will be announced soon.”

“Tony’s” Shorty Awards Campaign objective is to raise awareness for captive tigers and he does an awesome job of it by tweeting ways for friends to take action.

For more of Tony’s Big Cat Caturday tweets click here:


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.” ( )

One of the most important ways we can help tigers like Tony and other captive big cats in the United States is to support 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.

Learn more about this legislation here: (via Big Cat Rescue ~ Tampa FL)

Click the social media buttons in the picture below and




Smithsonian Magazine: America Has a Tiger Problem And No One’s Sure How to Solve It   Leave a comment

Re-posting this article from Smithsonian Magazine that mentions the importance of The Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act,  (see links below to ask your Congressional reps to co-sponsor it) and features Tony’s picture and story.

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America Has a Tiger Problem And No One’s Sure How to Solve It
No one even knows how many of the big cats are in the United States
By Max Kutner
Smithsonian Magazine
February 2015

Clayton James Eller loved going to his aunt’s house in Millers Creek, North Carolina, where he got to visit Tigger, her 317-pound pet Bengal tiger. One December day in 2003, ten-year-old C.J. was shoveling snow near Tigger’s outdoor pen when the animal attacked him from an opening in the chain-link fence and dragged him under. C.J.’s uncle grabbed his rifle and shot the tiger, but the boy died before he reached the hospital.

Tiger attacks in the United States are always dramatic news—there were 27 reported between 1990 and 2006, with seven people and most of the tigers killed. But maulings aren’t the only problem arising from the perhaps surprising fact that there are more captive tigers in the U.S. than there are wild tigers on earth.

Conservationists estimate that about 3,200 wild tigers remain around the world, while there are some 5,000 tigers in captivity in the U.S., according to the World Wildlife Fund. Even that number is probably low, says Carole Baskin, the founder of Big Cat Rescue, an animal sanctuary in Tampa, Florida, because reporting is “based on the honor system, and we’re dealing with a lot of people that are really dishonorable.” Edward J. Grace, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s deputy assistant director for law enforcement, estimates that the nation is home to more than 10,000 captive tigers. Only about 350 of those, says the WWF, are held in facilities accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

For the thousands of tigers in private hands, from those in big-top circuses and roadside attractions to others in backyard dens, the regulations are inconsistent at best. Six states (North Carolina, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Nevada, Alabama and West Virginia) place no restrictions on owning a tiger; 14 states require a permit; and 30 states prohibit ownership, though in some of those states people have been known to flout the law, as in the famous case of the man who kept a tiger in his apartment in Harlem.

One of the problems associated with these captive tigers, animal welfare advocates say, is that many of the creatures suffer. For example, the popular and stunningly beautiful white tigers—all descendants of a single, anomalous albino Bengal named Mohan, captured in 1951, and bred with his daughter—continue to be inbred with immediate family members to disabling effect; one frequent defect is severe strabismus, or crossed eyes, which hampers vision and coordination. Moreover, animal rescuers point out that many privately owned tigers live in deplorable conditions. Some tigers spend lifetimes in small, unsanitary enclosures. And wildlife advocates have accused tiger cub exhibitors of depriving the cats of sleep and exercise, and endangering both animals and people. One well-known captive animal is Tony the Tiger, a 550-pound Siberian-Bengal mix who has spent more than a decade in a cage at a truck stop in Louisiana. Baskin has been working with the Animal Legal Defense Fund to bring Tony to her sanctuary, but not everyone thinks his owner should be forced to send him. A Facebook group called “Keep Tony Where He Is” has more than 10,000 “Likes,” and Tony’s owner has called animal rights activists terrorists.

Some advocates argue that America’s other tiger problem, to put it bluntly, is hypocrisy, at least on the world stage. In China, a booming market for tiger parts has fueled the growth of legal “tiger farms,” where the animals are raised to be slaughtered for luxury décor (a tiger pelt can run tens of thousands of dollars) and pricey tiger-bone wine (up to $135 for a half-liter bottle). U.S. conservation groups and others have criticized the tiger farms both on humane grounds and for stoking demand for tigers—including poached wild animals. But Chinese officials dispute the claim that farmed tigers threaten animals in the wild, and, in any case, Americans have little credibility on the subject, given our own large but untallied population of neglected tigers and the patchwork of weak or nonexistent protections, according to J.A. Mills, a wildlife conservationist and author of the new book Blood of the Tiger. “U.S. tigers have a direct bearing on what China does,” she says, “and what China does has a direct bearing on whether wild tigers survive.”

So some advocates are heartened that America is trying to get its regulatory act together. The Fish and Wildlife Service has long overseen buying and selling “pure” tiger subspecies (such as Bengals and Amurs) across state lines, but the agency has limited authority because most privately held tigers are mixed breeds; a 2011 move to expand the agency’s authority over all tigers is reportedly close to being approved. Even more sweeping is the proposed Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act, which would formally restrict tiger ownership to facilities accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. (A grandfather clause would allow unaccredited owners to keep their tigers as long as they register with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.) The bipartisan bill was introduced in 2013 and may come up again in the new Congressional term. Some tiger owners and businesses feel the bill is overly restrictive, but proponents say it would go a long way toward closing the gap between what we say about the treatment of captive tigers and what we’re actually willing to do about it.

Direct Link:

Happy Holidays To All of Tony’s Friends   Leave a comment

tony blue silent quote

Wishing everyone Happy Holidays and THANKS for your continued support of Tony. Because of YOU our campaign and advocacy for Tony remains strong and sets such an important example against privately owned big cats in the United States.

There are many actions to take to help privately owned tigers and big cats in the U.S.  One of the most important is to support The Big Cat and Public Safety Protection Act.

Here are two links to ask the Senate & the House to support this bill:

Special Thanks to our friends The Animal Legal Defense Fund who continue to fight the legal battle for Tony’s release. To keep up to date with his case and for more background information visit these links:

Timeline of Tony’s case:

ALDF Page For Tony:

Thanks also to these wonderful sanctuaries and organizations for their support of Tony and for their tremendous work for animals:

Big Cat Rescue (Tampa FL)

Wildcat Sanctuary (Sandstone MN)

Wildcat Haven (Sherwood OR)

The Wild Animal Sanctuary (Keenesburg CO)

Born Free USA

Tony’s petition is nearing 46,000 signatures. The petition requests the LDWF to enforce Louisiana state law and ensure Tony is relocated to a reputable sanctuary. If you haven’t signed please do and continue to share.

KEEP ROARING FOR TONY! Share his petition, “LIKE” his Facebook page, tweet for him and “with him”  and join Tony on Instagram @tonythetruckstoptiger. See the links below.


“LIKE”Tony on Facebook Page:

Tony’s Blog:

Follow Tony On Twitter:!/FreeTonyTiger!/TonyTiger2000

Tony on Instagram:

Tony on Pinterest:

Tony On Youtube:

Wishing you peace, happiness and compassion…and as the New Year approaches we will continue our advocacy on behalf of this beautiful tiger with the respect he deserves.

TONY: Stay Strong Striped King…and to quote your Twitter words: “Merry GRRRRRistmas”


Tony the Tiger May Never Escape His Truck Stop Captivity. Here’s How You Can Help! via @OneGreenPlanet   Leave a comment


Ever since his birth in July of 2000, Tony, a Bengal-Siberian mix tiger, has spent every day and night confined to a small, barren enclosure at a truck stop in Grosse Tete, La. Here, he has been subjected to a continuous onslaught of car exhaust and loud noises for over a decade, rarely receiving the proper care or enrichment he so desperately needs.

New Legislation May Prevent Tony the Tiger from Escaping His 14-Year Truck Stop Captivity Free Tony the Tiger / Facebook

Despite these clearly inappropriate conditions, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has refused to uphold a 2006 state law (Act 715) that prohibits the sale and ownership of big exotic cats and even allowed any owner who kept big cats prior to August 15, 2006 to continue doing so as long as they file for an annual permit with the department.

Tony’s owner, Michael Sandlin, was one of the big cat owners “grandfathered” in under the law. However, upon seeing Tony’s continued plight, concerned citizens and nonprofits Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and Big Cat Rescue have fought tirelessly over the years to free Tony from his life of misery.

New Legislation May Prevent Tony the Tiger from Escaping His 14-Year Truck Stop Captivity Free Tony the Tiger / Facebook

Two major victories were won for Tony in 2013 when the Louisiana Court of Appeal “held that Sandlin and the Tiger Truck Shop were ineligible for a big cat permit and could no longer keep Tony” and when the Louisiana Supreme Court later “rejected Sandlin’s petition and let [the Court of Appeal] decision stand,” the ALDF reports.

Unfortunately, the Louisiana legislature (or at least a selection of its members) does not seem to care much for Tony’s plight and that of other big cats kept as captive pets (when it’s so clear that big cats should never be pets).

New Legislation May Prevent Tony the Tiger from Escaping His 14-Year Truck Stop Captivity Free Tony the Tiger / Facebook

Recently, the Louisiana Senate Committee on Natural Resources quickly passed Senate Bill 250, which undermines the 2006 state law by exempting “certain persons from the requirements of the big exotic cats rules.”

“The bill is an attempt to retroactively remove Tony’s protection under the 2006 law, and allow Michael Sandlin to retain possession of Tony,” the ALDF states.

We cannot let another round-about policy keep Tony confined any longer. It’s time he was freed from his miserable life at the Tiger Truck Stop and provided with a proper home at a real wildlife sanctuary that would attend to his every need, instead of using him to turn a profit like Sandlin has for years. Do your part to help Tony by taking action using the steps below — we must be his voice!

Take Action

Image Source: Free Tony the Tiger / Facebook

GRRRRR-OWL-O-WEEN Big Cat Style!   Leave a comment

Sharing this Halloween video from Big Cat Rescue in Tampa Florida of the cats enjoying their pumpkins – and as always thinking of Tony and hoping he too will soon experience enrichment and a wonderful home like this.


Petition Reaches 30K, Randall Tweets For Tony, Take Action For Big Cats   Leave a comment

tony gw 6

  • Help Big Cats! Here are some important ways you can help big cats in captivity like Tony. Please Take Action at the following links courtesy of Big Cat Rescue of Tampa FL:

The Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act has been reintroduced as HR 1998 in the House and S 1381 in the Senate. Please ask your member of Congress to sign on as a co-sponsor this bill!

Ask USDA to Ban Cub Handling

  • Keep Tony’s Story Networked ~ Share, Tweet, Follow!!

Join Tony on Facebook Page:

Free Tony The Tiger On WordPress:

Tony’s Story:

Follow Tony On Twitter:!/FreeTonyTiger!/TonyTiger2000

Tony on Instagram:

Tony on Pinterest:

Tony On Youtube:

ALDF Page For Tony: of rights

ALDF Articles:

  • Recent Pictures & Videos of Tony Appreciated! If you visit Tony please document your visit with pictures and/or videos and share them with us. Send your pictures and Youtube video links to so we can share them on social networking sites and continue to raise awareness and support for Tony.
  • “Don’t Be Stupid!” Tigers Don’t Belong At Truck Stops! Twitter has been a great platform for Tony with both the @FreeTonyTiger and @TonyTiger2000 accounts gathering many supporters and friends. “Tony” recently got RTs and Tweets from Randall, the colorful narrator of the viral video “Honey Badger Don’t Care.”

Thanks again to ALL of Tony’s Friends for your continued support!!

Reminder: Roar 4 Tony on Twitter! Sunday Feb. 3 @ 5pmEST   Leave a comment



Not in EST? Find your time to ROAR here:

We’ve been getting great support from our friends on Twitter for Tony’s Twitterstorm, a.k.a. ROAR-A-THON, scheduled for February 3rd @ 5pmEST; lots of tweets networking the information and people asking about Tony.

Share the event on Facebook: so we can get more people involved.

We’ll be raising awareness and support for Tony by letting people know he’s still at the truck, the next court date, his petition etc. and for captive tigers and big cats in the U.S. by networking information about The Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act.

We’ll be trending the hashtag #FreeTonyTiger.

Here are some tips about Sunday’s event from our friend @ARCrusade:

  • Don’t tweet too much the day of (before) the event.
  • Very few countdowns only.
  • Tweet as fast as possible.
  • We must tweet fast for an hour straight.
  • Copy+Paste tweets are more efficient than RTs (retweets) and are fast.
  • Always include hashtag #FreeTonyTiger in every tweet.

Some tweets we’ll be using you can copy but feel free to compose your own:

We Love Tony! @TonyTiger2000 || #FreeTonyTiger

Tony deserves a proper home @ a reputable big cat sanctuary! #FreeTonyTiger

Let Tony @TonyTiger2000 Hear Our ROARS! #FreeTonyTiger ‏

ROAR FOR TONY!! Join Our Twitter Storm 4 @TonyTiger2000 Going on NOW!! Help Us Trend ►► #FreeTonyTiger ‏◄◄

Tiger kept as a roadside attraction @ truck stop?? #FreeTonyTiger

Plz Sign Petition: LDWF: Ensure Tony The Tiger Is Released To A Reputable Sanctuary || #FreeTonyTiger

Nominate @TonyTiger2000 4 a shorty award: Help Raise Awareness 4 Captive Tigers || #FreeTonyTiger

@ALDF Back in court 4 @TonyTiger2000 on Feb. 19th! || #FreeTonyTiger

Join Tony’s @TonyTiger2000’s Facebook Page: || #FreeTonyTiger

@TonyTiger2000 is 1 of the est. 5,000+ privately owned tigers in U.S. Appx. 3,200 tigers left in the wild #FreeTonyTiger

Supporting Tony: @LeoDiCaprio @IanSomerhalder Help Us Trend #FreeTonyTiger ‏

Supporting Tony: @BauerVanStraten @Barbi_Twins @SamFoxCom Help Us Trend #FreeTonyTiger ‏

Tigers Don’t Belong @ Truck Stops!! @TonyTiger2000 Deserves A Home @ a Reputable Sanctuary! #FreeTonyTiger

In 2003, 3 tigers were taken from Tiger Truck Stop – @TonyTiger2000 was left behind || #FreeTonyTiger

Judge has ruled twice that no further permits can be issued 2 keep Tony – he remains @ the truck stop ILLEGALLY #FreeTonyTiger

Watch @ALDF’s video 4 @TonyTiger2000: ALDF is committed 2 Tony’s release 2 a reputable sanctuary #FreeTonyTiger

True Blood’s Kristin Bauer @BauerVanStraten Speaks Out for Tony the Tiger Watch: || #FreeTonyTiger

2006 Louisiana state law prohibits private ownership of #tigers. || #FreeTonyTiger

Support Big Cats & Public Safety Protection Act!! Take Action: HR 4122 & S 3547 #FreeTonyTiger

WATCH: CUTE TIGER CUBS – Robbed from the Cradle || #FreeTonyTiger

WATCH: Tigers in the U.S. & learn more about the serious issue of captive tigers #FreeTonyTiger

WATCH: Backyard Tigers of America In some states it’s legal to own big cats as pets! #FreeTonyTiger

Did you know that there are more tigers in American backyards than left in the wild? || #FreeTonyTiger

@WCSanctuary is one big cat sanctuary that has offered a forever home 4 @TonyTiger2000 || #FreeTonyTiger

No More Wild Pets! Tiger Exotic Pet PSA via @wcsanctuary | #FreeTonyTiger

@BigCatRescue has been very supportive of @TonyTiger2000 & also has a home waiting 4 him || #FreeTonyTiger

Tigers Like Tony Need Your Help Now!!!   Leave a comment

A circus tiger looks out of his transport cage after being loaded onto a truck. Photo by & © DM De Santis

Tony represents one of the thousands of privately owned tigers in the United States whose numbers are greater than tigers left in the wild. Captive U.S. tigers languish in roadside zoos and attractions, are exploited and abused in circuses, photo ops and exhibitions, entertainment shows, pseudo-sanctuaries, bred for profit or are owned as “pets.” Others end up in canned hunts or on the black market.

There is something you can do to help these tigers which in turn helps wild tigers as well.

The USFWS is seeking public comment – until Sept. 21 – regarding their proposal to close the loophole which allows private breeding and no registration of what they refer to as “generic tigers.”

Please add your comment (preferably in your own words) at:!documentDetail;D=FWS-R9-IA-2011-0027-0001 stating you support closing the exemption that currently allows unregistered, generic tigers, and that regulations must be strengthened so that captive breeding of tigers in the U.S. is strictly monitored and controlled. More information at: Good News! You Can End Tiger Farming in the U.S.

Watch this video from Big Cat Rescue of Tampa Florida and thanks to Big Cat Rescue of Tampa Florida, The Wildcat Sanctuary and WildCat Haven Sanctuary for networking this information and for their dedicated efforts to ending private ownership of tigers and big cats. Share this post and take action for these great cats who deserve our respect and protection.

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