Archive for the ‘ohio’ Tag

More from The Animal Legal Defense Fund on the May 7, 2012 Hearing   Leave a comment

From The Animal Legal Defense Fund:

May 7, 2012: In today’s hearing in Baton Rouge, District Judge Janice Clark agreed that the Animal Legal Defense Fund and two Louisiana residents can be parties to the lawsuit filed by Michael Sandlin, owner of Grosse Tete’s Tiger Truck Stop, against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). ALDF and the other interveners seek to defend the state’s law banning private ownership of big cats. Thanks to today’s ruling, ALDF will now have a right to participate in all steps of the litigation as it moves forward.

In their case, 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 intervention in Sandlin’s case will support Louisiana’s power to safeguard public safety and the welfare of animals like Tony through such legislative measures.

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

 

Please continue to support Tony by signing and sharing his petitions:

  • 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/ 

Tony the truck stop tiger is still waiting in his cage   Leave a comment

Tony the truck stop tiger still waits in his cage
Photo credit:
Animal Legal Defense Fund

Wildlife Headlines Examiner
May 3, 2012

Tony the truck stop tiger is an adult male Siberian/Bengal tiger that has been kept in a cage located at a Louisiana truck stop called Tiger Truck Stop.  For well over a year, advocacy groups such as the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) has been working very hard to get Tony relocated to a suitable sanctuary.

Today, a judge in Baton Rouge ruled that ALDF did not have a legal standing to force the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) to do their job.  In an attempt to get them to act upon a ruling issued late last year, the ALDF filed a lawsuit against the LDWF in the hopes of forcing them to enforce Louisiana’s ban on big cat ownership.  Tony’s owner, Michael Sandlin, has been without the required permit since it expired in December, 2011.

Keeping wild animals as pets is a hot topic lately; especially in the wake of last October’s Ohio massacre where 49 animals were slaughtered.  The nightmare began when the animals’ owner, Terry Thompson, released them from their cages before committing suicide.  By the time everything was over, 18 Bengal tigers, 17 lions, six black bears, 2 grizzly bears, three mountain lions, two wolves and a baboon were dead.  Fear for the public’s safety was the chief reason why the animals were not spared.

Public opinion is trending in favor of a wild animal’s welfare and people tend to be overwhelmingly in support of Tony’s relocation. Since the ALDF got involved, over 50,000 signatures have been added to their petition urging for the animal’s release.  However, the LDWF is dragging their feet and the judge even went so far as to say that the department has the discretion to decide whether or not to enforce the law.  However, the ALDF is still optimistic that once all the legal horseplay is over, the law will prevail and Tony will finally be released from the truck stop’s cage.  There is even talk of an appeal being filed on today’s ruling.  In addition, everyone is due back in court on Monday, May 7, 2012 for another hearing.  This time the judge will hear ALDF’s petition asking for an intervention in the lawsuit filed on behalf of Tiger Truck Stop and Michael Sandlin who will attempt to argue that Louisiana’s big cat ban is unconstitutional. But for now, Tony must still wait in his cage until the courts decide his fate.

http://www.examiner.com/article/tony-the-truck-stop-tiger-is-still-waiting-his-cage

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

Friday October 21: Last Day To Help Tigers Like Tony!!   1 comment

Tragedy in Zanesville Ohio

TODAY is the last day to submit comments to the USFWS stating you support the proposal to eliminate the exemption for “generic” tigers. This is such an important action to take for Tony and the estimated 5,000 to 10,000 tigers like him privately owned in the United States. { Re: Zanesville tragedy }

For more information see the post Help Protect Captive Tigers in the United States from The Animal Legal Defense Fund below.

Direct link to submit comments: http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FWS-R9-IA-2011-0027-14468  All you need to do is state ” I support the proposal to eliminate the exemption for “generic” tigers.”

Please Take Action For The Animals Killed in Zanesville Ohio

Ohio: It’s Time to Ban Dangerous Exotic Animals
https://secure.humanesociety.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=5229

Ohio Residents: Take Action After Exotic Animal Massacre
http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5154/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=8525

Gov. John Kasich: Ban the sale, ownership, and harboring of wild and exotic animals in Ohio
http://www.change.org/petitions/gov-john-kasich-ban-the-sale-ownership-and-harboring-of-wild-

Continue to support Tony and The Animal Legal Defense by signing and sharing Tony’s petitions and keeping his story active. Visit: https://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/take-action/ for petition links and more. Upcoming hearings for Tony are scheduled for November 2, 2011.

Thank you again for your support of Tony and all animals who deserve our respect, protection and advocacy.

From The Animal Legal Defense Fund:

Help Protect Captive Tigers in the U.S.

While the disturbing circumstances surrounding Tony the truck stop tiger have have received enormous attention, there are an estimated 5,000 – 10,000 additional captive tigers throughout the U.S. The majority of these big cats are classified by the federal government as “generic” tigers – tigers that are not purebred and are not in the same classification as endangered tigers in zoos (Tony, for example, is a Siberian-Bengal mix). Most of these tigers are kept as exotic “pets” and are virtually unregulated by the federal government due to a 1998 United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) rule that exempted “generic” tigers from the permit and reporting requirements that normally apply to endangered species. Due to the current lack of regulation by the federal government, there is not an accurate count of how many thousands of these tigers are living in the country, or whether they live in potentially abusive – and dangerous – conditions.

After years of pressure by tiger advocates, the USFWS, on August 22, published a proposed rule that would eliminate this generic tiger exemption. Should it be adopted, all tigers in the country, regardless of their lineage, would be better tracked and regulated by the federal government. People who own these tigers would be required to report annually on the number of tigers they have in captivity and on activities involving the tigers. Until this information becomes available, there is only anecdotal knowledge about the extent and whereabouts of the tiger population in this country. Such critical information could play a vital role in advancing laws that acknowledge and protect these currently “invisible” animals.

Take Action!
The USFWS is accepting comments on this proposed change through October 21, 2011 and your help is crucially needed! Please submit a comment in support of the proposal to eliminate the exemption for “generic” tigers today. Your support will help demonstrate to the USFWS that Americans are deeply concerned about better protections and oversight for captive tigers.

Last Few Days To Help Captive U.S. Tigers Like Tony!!   Leave a comment

Photo: Big Cat Rescue - Tampa Florida

This very tragic disturbing story : Police hunting escaped exotic animals in Ohio demonstrates the urgent need for better laws prohibiting the private ownership of exotic animals and another reason why it is so important to be a voice for animals and advocate for such regulations.

Please Take Action For The Animals Killed in Zanesville Ohio

Ohio: It’s Time to Ban Dangerous Exotic Animals
https://secure.humanesociety.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=5229

Ohio Residents: Take Action After Exotic Animal Massacre
http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5154/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=8525

Gov. John Kasich: Ban the sale, ownership, and harboring of wild and exotic animals in Ohio
http://www.change.org/petitions/gov-john-kasich-ban-the-sale-ownership-and-harboring-of-wild-and-exotic-animals-in-ohio

“Generic” Tigers Comment Period – Deadline October 21, 2011!!

Please take a moment to submit comments to the USFWS stating you support the proposal to eliminate the exemption for “generic” tigers. More information from The Animal Legal Defense Fund  http://www.aldf.org/article.php?id=1801 and Big Cat Rescue – Tampa FL: http://capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/issues/alert/?alertid=53173501

This is such an important action to take for tigers – please share the ALDF and BCR links above.

You can continue advocating for Tony and supporting the efforts of The Animal Legal Defense Fund to have Tony released to an accredited big cat sanctuary by signing and sharing petitions:

Current Petition Numbers

1. http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5154/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=6207  (38372)

2. http://www.change.org/petitions/speak-out-for-tony-the-truck-stop-tiger  (11,623)

Care2 Sponsored Petition:

3. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/129/272/008/  (43,856)

Upcoming hearings for Tony are scheduled for November 2, 2011.

Thanks again to everyone for caring about Tony and all animals who need us to be strong advocates on behalf of their welfare.

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