Archive for the ‘Free Tony The Tiger’ Tag

Happy Birthday Tony and International Tiger Day   Leave a comment

What better day than July 29th ~ International Tiger Day ~ to commemorate Tony’s 21st birthday.  While the exact date of Tony’s birth is unknown, a sign at the truck stop stated he was born in July 2000. Tony touched the hearts of people all over the world who overwhelmingly supported his release to an accredited big cat sanctuary. Wonderful sanctuaries had a standing offer of a home for him, and Tony’s legal warriors, The Animal Legal Defense Fund, were relentless in their efforts for his release. Sadly, Tony never got to a sanctuary home, he languished for 17 years at Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, LA. And dies in 2017. I will never forget the times I visited him. It was truly heartbreaking to see him, but I still was in awe at being in the presence of such a magnificent big cat. On each visit I told him we’d never give up ~ and we never did. I’m just so sorry Tony never got to a clean, spacious, compassionate sanctuary home. Tony was truly the “poster-tiger” for captive tigers and big cats. His story was known globally and raised tremendous awareness about the captive tiger | big cat issue in the United States.  Tony will always be the Ambassador for Captive Tigers and will always have a special place in our hearts. Happy Birthday “ T “ ~ We Miss You. Run Free Tony #FreeTonyTiger #TonyAlways

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 at:

An estimated 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 by taking action here : https://aldf.org/article/add-your-voice-support-the-big-cat-public-safety-act/ via Animal Legal Defense Fund.

We honor and remember Tony and his wild tiger “cousins” 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 friendship, love and support throughout the years. Please KEEP ROARING for captive tigers and big cats.

Tony ~ Always : In Memoriam October 16, 2020   Leave a comment

Three years ago, on October 16, 2017, we lost our beloved Tony the Tiger. Not a day goes by where Tony is not on my mind; he has left his massive paw prints on my heart and on the hearts of his friends around the world. For 17 years Tony was confined to a “life” as a roadside attraction at Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete. Louisiana, and because of Tony and his tragic story, people learned about the serious issue of privately owned tigers and big cats in the United States.

For many years Tony had tremendous support for his release to a reputable big cat sanctuary. The legal battle for Tony’s release was led by our very good friends The Animal Legal Defense Fund who fought tirelessly for Tony. Sadly every court win in Tony’s favor for his release was met by his owner’s appeals and the case dragged on for years. I would like to once again thank The Animal Legal Defense Fund who never gave up on Tony, and who continue to advocate for captive tigers and wild animals. Learn more about ALDF’s work for captive wild animals at : https://aldf.org/focus-area/captive-animals/

Another round of thanks to these sanctuaries who offered a home for Tony, Big Cat Rescue (Tampa FL), The Wildcat Sanctuary (Sandstone MN) and The Wild Animal Sanctuary (Keenesburg CO).

One of the best ways we can honor Tony is to support The Big Cat Public Safety Act. This federal bill addresses two of the biggest sources of abuse of big cats by ending owning big cats as pets and stopping exploitative roadside zoos from offering cub petting and photo ops. Read more about this bill and ask your Congress Members for their support at : https://aldf.org/article/add-your-voice-support-the-big-cat-public-safety-act/

In Tony’s memory, all of his social media accounts remain open to network information on ways we can help animals. We hope you will continue to support them.

To ALL of Tony’s amazing friends : THANK YOU! Because of you and your support Tony will never ever be forgotten.

” T ” : I miss you handsome tiger. You are in my thoughts every day and in my heart always.

For ” T ” Always ~ #FreeTonyTiger #TonyAlways 🌈 🐯 🌈

Tony’s Photo A Winner in Tigers In America Photo Contest!   Leave a comment

CLICK TO SEE FACEBOOK POST BY TIGERS OF AMERICA ABOUT TONY’S PHOTO

I am truly honored to have this photo of Tony chosen as one of the winners in Tigers in America’s Photo Contest. I’ve always loved this photo (be it sad) because it truly captures such despondence in Tony’s eyes and soul. Tony was born in 2000, obtained as a cub and spent all of his 17 years caged at Tiger Truck Stop.Tony raised tremendous awareness to the plight of captive tigers in the United States; he had friends and supporters from all over the world who advocated for his release to a reputable big cat sanctuary, wonderful sanctuaries who offered him a home and his legal champions, Animal Legal Defense Fund who never stopped fighting for his release. Tony truly was, and always will be, “The Captive Tiger Ambassador.” Visiting Tony at the truck stop was bittersweet, but when I would leave, I always told him we’d never give up and we’d never stop roaring. In his honor and remembrance, all of Tony’s social media accounts remain active to help network actions to help captive tigers and big cats. Thank you all for remembering this very special tiger. RUN FREE ” T ” | #FreeTonyTiger #TonyAlways (Free Tony The Tiger ~ D.M. De Santis)
🌈🐯🌈

Infamous Tiger Truck Stop Demolishes Cage That Held Tony the Tiger   Leave a comment

Challenge to the constitutionality of Louisiana’s big cat ban still in court

Courtesy of : Animal Legal Defense Fund

New Orleans, LA – After multiple lawsuits filed and fought by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the Tiger Truck Stop has finally stopped exhibiting animals and tore down its cages. The animals who had recently lived at the gas station have been removed, and the chain-link cages have been demolished.

The Tiger Truck Stop, the infamous gas station in Gross Tete, Louisiana, held Tony — an endangered Siberian-Bengal tiger — from the age of 6-months until his death at the age of 17 in 2017. The center of significant controversy, the truck stop’s owner, Michael Sandlin, used his political clout to circumvent one law after another — including the Louisiana big cat ban which passed unanimously in 2006. A lawsuit filed by the Animal Legal Defense Fund stripped the Tiger Truck Stop of its improper permit from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries — a decision that was affirmed on appeal.

In his zeal to continue to exhibit tigers at the gas station, Sandlin sued Louisiana over the constitutionality of the state’s big cat ban. The lawsuit, which the Animal Legal Defense Fund successfully intervened in to assist in protecting the ban, remains pending for now.

“The Animal Legal Defense Fund is pleased that no additional animals will be exploited at the Tiger Truck Stop,” says Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells. “Though we were not able to rescue Tony in time, we have continued to fight in his memory for other captive animals who suffer at roadside zoos across the country.”

After Tony died, Sandlin acquired other animals, including a camel, a red kangaroo, and coatis — which have been relocated.

In 2019, the Animal Legal Defense Fund won a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for its policy of “rubberstamping” exhibitor license renewals of roadside zoos, even when they violated the Animal Welfare Act. In 2020, the USDA released new rules stating that facilities would need to prove they are in compliance with federal, state, and local laws for renewal — another tool that will help prevent similar situations in the future and part of the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s continuing strategy to shut down roadside zoos.

A federal bill, the Big Cat Public Safety Act, has been introduced with wide support in the U.S. House of Representatives, and would eliminate private big cat ownership nationwide. The Animal Legal Defense Fund, along with a coalition of animal protection groups, supports the bill’s passage.

 

In Memoriam : Tony the Tiger   Leave a comment

Two years ago, on October 16, 2017, we lost a tiger who touched the hearts of people all over the world. While Tony’s story is tragic, confined for all of his life as a roadside attraction at a truck stop in Louisiana, he brought tremendous attention to the serious issue of captive tigers and big cats in the United States.

Tony had an “army” of friends and his dedicated legal team, The Animal Legal Defense Fund, working on his behalf for his release to a big cat sanctuary; sanctuaries Big Cat Rescue, The Wildcat Sanctuary and The Wild Animal Sanctuary supported his release and offered a home for him.

Unfortunately ALDF victories in court that ruled the permit to keep Tony illegal were met by his owner’s appeals and Tony’s case dragged on for years.

I will never forget the times I visited Tony; I was overwhelmed to be in his presence, but saddened and disturbed that here was this magnificent tiger imprisoned at a truck stop…each time I told him to stay strong and that we’d never give up on him.

I feel that one of the best ways we can honor Tony is to continue to be a voice for captive wild animals.

To learn more about ALDF’s work to help captive wild animals:

Visit ALDF’s “Captive Wild Animals” : https://aldf.org/focus-area/captive-animals/

Say NO To Roadside Zoos : https://act.aldf.org/page/6162/petition/1

Support The Big Cat Public Safety Act : This federal bill addresses two of the biggest sources of abuse of big cats by ending owning big cats as pets and stopping exploitative roadside zoos from offering cub petting and photo ops. Read more about this bill and ask your Congress Members for their support at : https://bigcatrescue.org/big-cat-act/

In Tony’s memory, all of his social media accounts remain open to network information on ways we can help animals. We hope you will continue to support them.

Thanks to all of Tony’s amazing friends for your dedication throughout the years. You are all truly appreciated.

” T ” : you are in my thoughts every day and in my heart always.

For ” T ” Always ~ #FreeTonyTiger 🌈 🐯 🌈

For Tony on World Animal Day Oct. 4 2019   Leave a comment

CLICK PICTURE TO READ OUR WORLD ANIMAL DAY POST FOR TONY

We’ve added a post for our beloved Tony the Tiger on the World Animal Day website.

Please visit: https://www.worldanimalday.org.uk/events/view/remembering-tony-the-tiger-on-world-animal-day

In honor and memory of Tony, United States residents are asked to support The Big Cat Public Safety Act. You can read more about this bill and ask your Congress members to support it at: https://bigcatrescue.org/big-cat-act/

We miss and love Tony and think of him every day, and we are forever grateful for the wonderful support and love from Tony’s friends throughout the years.

We hope you’ll take a moment to visit our World Animal Day post for Tony and share it.

For ” T ” Always ~ #FreeTonyTiger 🌈 🐯 🌈

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: https://aldf.org/case/tony-the-tiger-the-individual/

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

NOTE FROM FTTT:
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
Endlessly
But in my mind
I am running free

Captor
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

☮ 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.

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: https://act.aldf.org/page/6167/petition/1

If you ever visited Tony and have pictures you’d like to share please e-mail freetonythetiger17@gmail.com

One again thank you for your support and understanding.

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