Archive for the ‘iberville’ Tag

Update for Tony from ALDF – May 26, 2017   Leave a comment

Posted by Animal Legal Defense Fund on their Facebook page May 26, 2017:

“We’ve been keeping you up to date on our work on behalf of Tony the tiger and wanted to share the latest. This week, Animal Legal Defense Fund attorneys sent a letter to the Iberville District Attorney and Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana urging a criminal investigation into Tony’s condition. Louisiana law mandates animals have proper drink, food, shelter and veterinary care. Given Tony’s poor condition, we believe his owner may be in violation of the law. If you want to hear more about our work to save Tony, make sure to listen this interview by Animal Legal Defense Fund attorney Tony Eliseuson here: http://talk1073.com/2017/05/19/new-legal-maneuvers-in-battle-over-tony-the-truck-stop-tiger/

Judge denies tiger appeal   Leave a comment

Advocate staff file photo by PATRICK DENNIS Tony, the Siberian-Bengal tiger on display at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, on Dec. 2, 2010.

BY JOE GYAN JR.
Advocate staff writer
May 05, 2012

A judge refused Thursday to order the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to remove Tony the 550-pound tiger from a Grosse Tete truck stop enclosure where he has been kept for more than a decade.

State District Judge Mike Caldwell cited the separation of powers between the judicial and executive branches of government, and also said the Animal Legal Defense Fund and several other individually named plaintiffs lacked legal standing to try to compel LDWF to take action against the truck stop.

ALDF attorney Erin Pelleteri argued during a hearing that Tiger Truck Stop’s state permit for the Siberian-Bengal tiger expired Dec. 31. She said Michael Sandlin, owner of the Iberville Parish truck stop, is “blatantly’’ violating Louisiana law and endangering the public, and should be prosecuted.

“There is no permit in place. Mr. Sandlin is in violation of the law,’’ Pelleteri argued. “The department is doing nothing.’’

Jennifer Treadway Morris, an attorney for Sandlin and his truck stop, countered that the facility has a federal permit to house the tiger. She also disputed Pelleteri’s safety allegation.

“There is no public safety concern here,’’ Morris told the judge.

Sandlin, who attended the hearing, said afterward he loves tigers.

“I love Tony. I love (LSU’s) Mike the tiger,’’ he said. “The people of Grosse Tete want Tony to stay.’’

LDWF attorney Fred Whitrock argued during the hearing that ALDF and the individual plaintiffs, including Baton Rouge resident Brandi Sutten, have no direct interest in the outcome of the case but are merely morally opposed to Tony being displayed at the truck stop off Interstate 10.

“That is not sufficient for legal standing,’’ he said.

Sutten testified she visits Tony from time to time and finds it “emotionally draining’’ to see a tiger housed near an interstate, something she considers “inappropriate’’ and “absolutely crazy.’’

Morris told Sutten there are neighborhoods closer to Exxon’s Baton Rouge refinery than Tony is to the highway. After Sutten testified she has never visited Mike the tiger at LSU, Morris asked her if she is generally opposed to tigers being kept in cages or just opposed to Tony the truck stop tiger.

“Just Tony,’’ she acknowledged.

In response to an earlier ALDF lawsuit against LDWF, Caldwell last year barred the state agency from issuing any new permits to Tiger Truck Stop to keep 11-year-old Tony there. Sandlin has appealed that ruling to the state 1st Circuit Court of Appeal.

Caldwell said a state permit can be issued only to an individual, not a corporation, and Tiger Truck Stop is the permit holder, not Sandlin.

If Sandlin’s appeal is ultimately denied, LDWF has said it would give Sandlin 30 days to move Tony to a sanctuary of Sandlin’s choosing.

Sandlin, in a suit he filed against the state and Iberville Parish in January, is challenging the constitutionality of a 2006 state law that banned private ownership of large and exotic cats.

The state law includes a grandfather exception that allows people to keep exotic cats as pets as long as the animals were legally owned before Aug. 15, 2006, when the law went into effect.

ALDF contends Tony was not legally owned by Tiger Truck Stop before that date because a 1993 Iberville Parish ordinance prohibits anyone from owning wild, exotic or vicious animals for display or exhibition.

Sandlin’s suit also says the ordinance is unconstitutional. He argues the ordinance does not have an exception for persons with proper permits under federal law.

ALDF has filed a petition to intervene in Sandlin’s suit. State District Judge Janice Clark is scheduled to hold a hearing on that request Monday.

http://theadvocate.com/home/2727217-125/judge-denies-tiger-appeal

Parish summoned to court next week in Truck Stop tiger lawsuit   Leave a comment

GateHouse News Service – Posted May 03, 2012 @ 03:10 PM

Plaquemine, LA:

Iberville Parish  and Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso Jr. have been summoned to court Monday (May 7) of next week as part of a lawsuit involving the Grosse Tete truck stop tiger. Attorney Barry Marionneaux will represent Iberville Parish in the courtroom next week.

Michael Sandlin, owner of the truck stop and the tiger known as Tony, is suing the State of Louisiana through the Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries, the Attorney General of the state, and Iberville Parish over the Petition in Intervention by the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

The present action is taking place due to the adverse ruling against Sandlin and his truck stop in the case of Animal Legal Defense Fund et al v. State of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries et all that is pending in the 19th Judicial District Court.

The suit is in retaliation to a judgment made in a trial in November of 2011 that revoked Sandlin’s permit to keep the tiger and a final and permanent injunction was ordered against the Wildlife and Fisheries and granted the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s request for an injunctive relief. However, the court denied that Wildlife and Fisheries had to seize the tiger and released to the Animal Legal Defense Fund group. The state of Louisiana through the Wildlife and Fisheries was assessed costs of the 2011 proceedings.

http://www.postsouth.com/newsnow/x1120194811/Parish-summoned-to-court-next-week-in-Truck-Stop-tiger-lawsuit

From Change.org: The Fight for Tony the Truck Stop Tiger Heads to Court   Leave a comment

by Stephanie Feldstein · May 04, 2011
 

For Tony, the Siberian-Bengal tiger who spends his days as a roadside attraction at a Louisiana truck stop, this week feels as dismal as any other. But Tony’s advocates hope this week will mark the beginning of the end of his captivity.

On May 5, the Animal Legal Defense Fund will appear in East Baton Rouge District Court when the legal battle for Tony’s freedom begin. At that time, they will deliver your petition signatures to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Last week, Leonardo DiCaprio, a longtime advocate for tigers, urged his fans on Twitter and Facebook to help Tony. “Have you heard about Tony, a Siberian-Bengal tiger living at a truck stop in Louisiana?” DiCaprio wrote on Facebook. “This tiger has been living in a small inadequate and inhumane enclosure since 2003. We need to help the Animal Legal Defense Fund in urging the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to revoke the permit that allows this.”

Not only does LDWF have the power to revoke the permit that allows Tiger Truck Stop to keep Tony behind bars but, Animal Legal Defense Fund contends, it was illegal for them to issue the permit in the first place.

In court tomorrow, ALDF will begin to argue the case that the wildlife department violated state regulations on private ownership of big cats. As of 2006, tigers were no longer allowed as pets or exhibits in Louisiana, unless they were already legally owned and grandfathered in at the time the new regulations came into effect.

But ever since 1993, tigers haven’t been allowed in Tiger Truck Stop’s hometown of Iberville. So, as far as state law is concerned, Tony is contraband.

Officials have spent years ignoring the inhumane, illegal situation at Tiger Truck Stop. But then people began to learn about Tony. And they began to speak out for him.

As the call for his release to a sanctuary has grown into a roar, officials have been trying to backtrack. Iberville parish granted Tiger Truck Stop an exemption to keep Tony in 2009 … years too late to qualify for the state permit. Yet once again, in 2010, the state renewed the permit anyway.

What’s different now is that Tony has a legal team that’s forcing the wildlife department to answer for its inhumane inconsistencies in court. And Tony has you to keep his story in the spotlight and pressure the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to do the right thing and get Tony out of the truck stop and into a sanctuary.

Photo credit: Big Cat Rescue

Stephanie Feldstein is a Change.org Editor who has been part of the animal welfare and rescue community for over a decade, and most recently worked for an environmental organization.

http://news.change.org/stories/the-fight-for-tony-the-truck-stop-tiger-heads-to-court

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