Archive for the ‘SB 250’ Tag

How We Can ALL Help Tony!   Leave a comment

life sentence

Recap on SB 250, Rick Ward III‘s bill to “exempt certain persons from the requirements of the big exotic cats rules” (specifically to allow Michael Sandlin to keep Tony at Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete Louisiana.)

After failing by a vote of 19 Nays – 18 Yeas on April 28th, it was voted on again on May 13th: The Louisiana Senate PASSED SB 250 by a vote of 20 YEAS to 18 NAYS. The bill was then introduced to the House on May 14 and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources and Environment.

SB 250 is scheduled for a hearing TOMORROW WEDNESDAY May 21 @ 9:30am. You can view the agenda here: http://house.louisiana.gov/Agendas_2014/May_2014/0521_14_NR.pdf

If you’re a resident of Louisiana PLEASE contact your House Representative and ask them to OPPOSE SB 250, especially if your Representative is a member of the Natural Resources and Environment Committee. List of committee members at the end of this post.

You can also find this list here: http://house.louisiana.gov/H_Cmtes/H_Cmte_NR.asp Just click on your representative’s name for contact information at the link.

Born Free USA also has an Action Alert for LOUISIANA RESIDENTS Targeting the Natural Resources and Environment Committee:
https://secure3.convio.net/bfusa/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&page=UserAction&id=885

(Thank you Born Free USA)

For those of us who are NOT Louisiana Residents, please share the following information so we can reach others.

  • Born Free USA’s Action Alert Targeting the Natural Resources and Environment Committee:

https://secure3.convio.net/bfusa/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&page=UserAction&id=885

  • ALDF’s Post for Tony:

http://aldf.org/cases-campaigns/action-alerts/protect-tigers-from-unlawful-captivity/

  • ALDF’s Video for Tony:

http://youtu.be/yGbIUEVE_E0

  • ASPCA’s Action Alert for Louisiana Residents:

http://www.capwiz.com/aspca/issues/alert/?alertid=63198706&type=ST&&from=advocacycenterlanding

  • These petitions are also still open for Tony:

http://www.change.org/petitions/louisiana-state-senate-oppose-sb-250-uphold-louisiana-state-law-prohibiting-private-ownership-of-tigers

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

Let’s continue positive yet strong advocacy on behalf of Tony and work together to procure him a peaceful life, expert care, a proper home and the respect and dignity Tony and ALL animals deserve.

Natural Resources and Environment Committee
(Name, District, Email)

Dove, Gordon
52
larep052@legis.la.gov

Bishop, Stuart J.
43
bishops@legis.la.gov

Armes, James K.
30
armesj@legis.la.gov

Billiot, Robert E.
83
billiotr@legis.la.gov

Chaney, Charles R.
19
chaneyb@legis.la.gov

Connick, Patrick
84
connickp@legis.la.gov

Foil, Franklin J.
70
foilf@legis.la.gov

Garofalo, Raymond E.
103
garofalor@legis.la.gov

Gisclair, Jerry
54
gisclairj@legis.la.gov

Guinn, John E.
37
guinnj@legis.la.gov

Harrison, Joe
51
harrisoj@legis.la.gov

James, Edward C. “Ted”
101
james.ted@legis.la.gov

Jones, Sam
50
joness@legis.la.gov

Lambert, Eddie J.
59
larep059@legis.la.gov

Leopold, Christopher J.
105
leopoldc@legis.la.gov

Montoucet, Jack
42
montoucj@legis.la.gov

Morris, James “Jim”
1
larep001@legis.la.gov

Ortego, Stephen J.
39
ortegos@legis.la.gov

Schexnayder, Clay
81
schexnayderc@legis.la.gov

Kleckley, Chuck
36
larep036@legis.la.gov

Leger, Walt III
91
legerw@legis.la.gov

Updated SB 250 Action Alert via @ASPCA   Leave a comment

 

Click Here To Help Tony!

Click Here To Help Tony!

ASPCA has updated their SB 250 action alert.

If you’re a resident of Louisiana please visit: http://www.capwiz.com/aspca/issues/alert/?alertid=63198706&type=ST&&from=advocacycenterlanding to send a message to your House Rep asking them to OPPOSE SB 250.

For added impact follow-up with a polite phone call. You can find your House Rep: http://capwiz.com/aspca/dbq/officials/

If you’re not from Louisiana please share this post so we can reach more Louisiana residents. Thank You.

@SpanielHarry’s Open Letter For Tony   Leave a comment

harry and tony

Harry and Tony

It’s amazing how Tony’s story has reached the hearts of people and “anipals” all over the world.

Meet Harry, an English Springer Spaniel who lives in the UK.  Harry wrote a heartfelt Open Letter to the Louisiana Senate supporting Tony’s release to a reputable sanctuary.

Harry is a great friend to all animals and we truly appreciate his support.

You can read Harry’s letter: http://www.spanielharry.co.uk/open-letter-to-the-louisiana-state-senate-free-tony-the-tiger/

Thanks for your pawsome letter Harry! We’ll keep fighting this sinister bill. The bill passed the Senate, was introduced to the House and referred to the Natural Resource and Environment Committee. Louisiana Residents NEED TO TAKE ACTION AGAINST SB 250! http://www.capwiz.com/aspca/issues/alert/?alertid=63198706&type=ST&&from=advocacycenterlanding

Check out Harry’s blog: http://www.spanielharry.co.uk/

Follow Harry on Twitter: @SpanielHarry

“LIKE” Harry on Facebook: https://twitter.com/SpanielHarry

Breakdown on SB 250 Vote ~ May 13, 2014   Leave a comment

Senate votes to keep Tony the Tiger at truck stop

Posted by on Tue, May 13, 2014 at 4:10 PM

After failing to pass Senate Bill 250 through the Louisiana Senate in April, State Sen. Rick Ward, R-Port Allen, reintroduced his bill to exempt big cat owners from a state law banning exotic pet ownership. This afternoon, SB 250 narrowly passed by a vote of 20-18. It now heads to the House.

State Sens. Troy Brown and Mack White were absent to vote last month. They voted in favor this afternoon. Sens. Danny Martiny, Gary Smith and Robert Kostelka, who voted against the bill in April, also voted in favor.

Sens. Dan Claitor, Yvonne Dorsey-Lacomb and Dan Morrish voted for the measure last month but voted against it today. Sen. Ben Nevers, who voted against the bill last month, was absent today.

The law would apply to Michael Sandlin, who owns the 13-year-old Siberian-Bengal tiger named Tony, who has lived at Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete for more than a decade. The law would come up against the Louisiana Supreme Court’s rejection of Sandlin’s petition in October 2013 to review the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal’s ruling that Tony can’t live at the truck stop.

breakdown sb250 5.13.2014

http://www.bestofneworleans.com/blogofneworleans/archives/2014/05/13/senate-votes-to-keep-tony-the-tiger-at-truck-stop

Louisiana Senate PASSES SB 250 ~ TAKE ACTION NOW via @ALDF!   Leave a comment

May 13, 2014: The Louisiana Senate PASSED SB 250 by a vote of 20 YEAS to 18 NAYS. The bill is now “Pending House Referral” Track the bill here: http://www.legis.la.gov/legis/BillInfo.aspx?i=224278

TONY NEEDS LOUISIANA RESIDENTS to TAKE ACTION NOW by contacting their Louisiana House District Representative and asking them to OPPOSE SB 250.

Easy contact form: http://org2.salsalabs.com/o/5154/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=17493

You can find out who your Representative is by inputting your address here: http://org2.salsalabs.com/o/5154/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=15813 Please follow up with a phone call. Louisiana Residents can simply say, “Hello. I am one of your constituents and I’m concerned about the welfare of captive tigers in our state. I would like you to vote AGAINST SB 250.”

Read more from Animal Legal Defense Fund:

Protect Tigers from Unlawful Captivity

We just got word from the Louisiana State Senate floor that a very dangerous bill is now one vote closer to becoming law. If it passes, SB 250 would create a “retroactive exemption” to Louisiana’s ban on possessing dangerous wild animals. Specifically, it would allow Tony the Tiger to remain caged as a truck-stop curiosity where he is subjected to noise and diesel fumes 24-hours a day.

ALDF is on the ground in Louisiana fighting this bill, and we visited Tony the Tiger at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete in May of 2014. Here is the video we recorded:

 

As Louisiana supporters already know, this bill was designed to appease Michael Sandlin, whose captivity of Tony the Tiger was declared illegal by the Louisiana Court of Appeals in ALDF’s successful lawsuit. Sandlin has been repeatedly sanctioned by the USDA for numerous violations of the Animal Welfare Act and had all of his other truck-stop tigers removed.

Louisiana law rightfully bans private ownership of tigers and other dangerous wild animals. There are a few exemptions, but the law itself is clear. ALDF opposes the possession of big cats because it is inhumane to the animals kept captive, and dangerous to people. Exemptions to the ban on dangerous wild animals waste the state’s resources and put animals in harm’s way simply to accommodate those who want to confine tigers, bears and other animals for entertainment or profit.

Take Action!

This outrageous “exemption” bill will soon be considered by the Louisiana House of Representatives. We need to pull out all of the stops—so are asking all Louisiana residents to contact Louisiana House Members right now to tell them that you strongly oppose any exemptions to animal protection laws.

tony-the-tiger-copyright-JS-2014

House Members need to hear from Louisiana residents only. Please send them a message, urging Louisiana Representatives to vote against SB 250. Join our fight against attempts to subvert animal protection laws in Louisiana. Residents can simply say, “Hello. I am one of your constituents and I’m concerned about the welfare of captive tigers in our state. I would like you to vote against SB 250.”

Take Action Button

For those who are out of state, please join us in sharing this news on social media, so that we can reach more Louisiana residents!

http://aldf.org/cases-campaigns/action-alerts/protect-tigers-from-unlawful-captivity/

Warren Triche Speaks Out Against SB 250   Leave a comment

triche

Note: As a Louisiana State Representative in 2006, Warren Triche, Jr. sponsored the bill limiting or restricting the private ownership of big cats.

Please continue to take action against SB 250 which is still listed as “Subject To Call.” You can track the bill here: http://www.legis.la.gov/legis/BillInfo.aspx?i=224278

It is especially important for Louisiana Residents to demonstrate their opposition to this bill. An easy contact form from ASPCA can be found at: http://www.capwiz.com/aspca/issues/alert/?alertid=63198706&type=ST&&from=advocacycenterlanding Please follow-up with a phone call to your Senator. More information provided at the aforementioned link.

Actions for Louisiana Non-Residents: https://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/update-on-sb-250-keep-the-pressure-on/

Please also leave your comments against SB 250 at the direct link to this article: http://www.theneworleansadvocate.com/opinion/9129026-171/letter-bill-would-reverse-protection

Let’s continue to stand strong against this egregious bill specifically targeted to KEEP Tony at the truck stop.

Letter: Bill would reverse protection

As I understand the present-day scenario for Tony the Tiger’s situation, I would like to present the following for the general public’s information.

In 2006, as a Louisiana state representative, I sponsored the bill limiting or restricting the private ownership of large cats, which passed overwhelmingly in both houses of the Legislature. One of the animals we were specifically concerned about was a Siberian-Bengal tiger named Tony.

Tony now stands to lose his hard-won legal protections because of a bill about to cross our state Senate floor. The tiger already has spent too many years pacing away at a local truck stop as a business gimmick for Tony’s keeper — do you think this is what Louisiana voters want? Tony deserves to be protected by the law, and Louisianans are calling on public servants within the state Legislature to defend existing protections for tigers.

This bill, Senate Bill 250, was rushed through a Senate committee last month with very little, if any, notice to those who would have appeared at the hearing to oppose the measure. With it, it seems there is an attempt now being made to circumvent a decision that has already been decided by the three-tiered court system, including the Appeals and the Supreme Court. Apparently, this is a back-door approach through the legislative process to undo what the courts have decided, by making a grandfather-type clause for Tony’s continued captivity.

Beginning in 2000, Tony has been displayed at the truck stop and subjected to harmful fumes and excessive noise in a concrete-floored cage for more than a decade. That’s why — along with Louisiana taxpayers and the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund — many, many concerned citizens and groups have been involved in a yearslong battle to ensure that Tony’s best interests are protected by law. In 2011, we successfully sued the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for unlawfully issuing Tony’s keeper(s) a permit to continue exhibiting Tony. In April 2013, the Court of Appeal ruled that Tony’s owner was ineligible for a permit to continue Tony’s captivity. This victory was allowed to stand by the Louisiana Supreme Court in October.

We hope our fellow lawmakers will do their just service to our state — and to Tony — and uphold the laws of the land. Tigers of Tony’s age are retired to sanctuaries all the time, and moving him should pose little risk, if done properly. Let us allow Tony to live out his remaining years in the quiet, clean air and soft grasses of a reputable sanctuary, as he deserves.

Warren Triche Jr.

Former State Representative

http://www.theneworleansadvocate.com/opinion/9129026-171/letter-bill-would-reverse-protection

Louisiana, Stay Safe and Protect Exotic Animals! via @ASPCA   Leave a comment

no place

Thanks  ASPCA for updating their SB 250 Action Alert

This is for Louisiana Residents:
What You Can Do
The Senate is reconsidering S.B. 250 and could vote again as early as TODAY ~ Monday, May 5! Please take action immediately for Tony and Louisiana’s exotic cats.

1. Look up your state senator and see how he or she voted: http://www.legis.la.gov/legis/ViewDocument.aspx?d=897829

If he or she voted NO on S.B. 250, please thank them. If he or she voted YES, please politely ask them to reconsider their vote and vote NO! You can use the form at the link below to send an email to your state senator today expressing your opposition to this dangerous bill.

http://www.capwiz.com/aspca/issues/alert/?alertid=63198706&type=ST&&from=advocacycenterlanding

2. Then, please follow up with a quick, polite phone call and leave a message asking your state senator to vote NO on S.B. 250. You can look up your state senator’s name and phone number here: http://capwiz.com/aspca/dbq/officials/

Thank you, Louisiana!

NOTE: Actions for Louisiana Non-Residents can be found here: https://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/update-on-sb-250-keep-the-pressure-on/

Breakdown of the Vote on SB 250 ~ April 28, 2014   Leave a comment

sb 250 vote

How Senators voted yesterday on SB 250: http://www.legis.la.gov/legis/ViewDocument.aspx?d=897829

Although SB 250 failed to pass, Sen. Ward can bring the bill back up again and indicated he will. You can track the bill here: http://www.legis.la.gov/legis/BillInfo.aspx?i=224278

We are asking Tony’s supporters to continue to speak out AGAINST this bill. Visit : https://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/update-on-sb-250-keep-the-pressure-on/ for a list of actions you can take to OPPOSE this bill designed specifically to allow Mr. Sandlin to KEEP Tony at the truck stop.

  • You can THANK these Senators for voting AGAINST SB 250 and ask for their continued support against this bill if it comes up for a vote again:

adleyr@legis.la.gov, appelc@legis.la.gov, lasen15@legis.la.gov, smithbuffington@legis.la.gov, chabertn@legis.la.gov, cortezp@legis.la.gov, crowea@legis.la.gov, donahuej@legis.la.gov, erdeyd@legis.la.gov, HeitmeierD@legis.la.gov, kostelka@legis.la.gov, lafleure@legis.la.gov, martinyd@legis.la.gov, morrelljp@legis.la.gov, neversb@legis.la.gov, petersonk@legis.la.gov, risern@legis.la.gov, smithgl@legis.la.gov, walsworthm@legis.la.gov

  • These Senators Voted FOR SB 250 – Sen. Rick Ward’s bill to KEEP Tony at the truck stop; Ask them to reconsider their vote on SB 250 and vote AGAINST it if it comes up again:

alarioj@legis.la.gov, allainb@legis.la.gov, amedeej@legis.la.gov, claitord@legis.la.gov, dorseyy@legis.la.gov, gallotr@legis.la.gov, guillorye@legis.la.gov, johnsr@legis.la.gov, longg@legis.la.gov, millsf@legis.la.gov, morrishd@legis.la.gov, murraye@legis.la.gov, peacockb@legis.la.gov, perryj@legis.la.gov, smithj@legis.la.gov, tarverg@legis.la.gov, thompsof@legis.la.gov, wardr@legis.la.gov

Note: wardr@legis.la.gov is the author of this bill.

  • These Senators were absent. Please ask them to vote AGAINST SB 250 if it comes up again:

brownte@legis.la.gov, whitem@legis.la.gov

CONTINUE TO TAKE ACTION HERE: https://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/update-on-sb-250-keep-the-pressure-on/

Louisiana Senate votes down bill protecting ownership of truck stop tiger via @BRNola   Leave a comment

tony nola

By Emily Lane, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
April 28, 2014 at 6:00 PM, updated April 28, 2014 at 9:50 PM

A Louisiana state senator hinted the Legislature dodged an unwanted national spotlight Monday (April 29) by narrowly voting down a bill that would let the owner of a truck stop off of Interstate 10 keep his roadside attraction, a Bengal-Siberian mix tiger.

But the sponsor of the bill, which the Senate voted down 19-18, recalled visiting the truck stop tiger as a boy and defended the owner as someone who cared for his tigers and always tried to comply with the ever-changing laws regulating exotic cats in Louisiana.

Senate Bill 250, sponsored by Rick Ward, R-Port Allen, aims to prevent the state from seizing Tony the tiger from Grosse Tete-located Tiger Truck Stop Inc. and its owner Michael Sandlin. Ward can bring the bill back up again and indicated he will.

Ownership and possession of the 14-year-old tiger, which lives in a 40-by-80-foot cage at the stop 20 minutes outside Baton Rouge, is currently up in the air pending litigation. Tiger Truck Stop owner Michael Sandlin challenged the state’s attempt to remove Tony after the state 1st Circuit Court of Appeal ruled in April that Sandlin’s permit to keep Tony was invalid because he is not Tony’s legal owner. Tiger Truck Stop Inc. has owned Tony since 2000, but new rules promulgated by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries require the owner to be an individual, not a corporation.

Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, handed out photos of the tiger’s cage. “It’s a chain-link fence keeping in a Siberian tiger,” he said. Though pictures of the cage Morrell placed on desks of every senator played to the animal rights angle, Morrell kept much of his argument on the floor geared toward public safety.

Photos of Tony the tiger in his cage (above) at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana, were handed out to lawmakers on the Louisiana Senate floor, along photos of the habitat of LSU's Mike the Tiger, (below) for comparison. Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, distributed the photos in opposiion of a bill to allow the tiger's owner to keep him there. (Emily Lane, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

Photos of Tony the tiger in his cage (above) at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana, were handed out to lawmakers on the Louisiana Senate floor, along photos of the habitat of LSU’s Mike the Tiger, (below) for comparison. Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, distributed the photos in opposiion of a bill to allow the tiger’s owner to keep him there. (Emily Lane, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

nola 2

He read over the microphone answers to some of the questions, which were part of the lawsuit evidence, posed to Tiger Truck Stop employees in the event that the tiger escape.

One employee said in the event of an escape, after notifying the area, calling animal control and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, he would “get whichever gun I would need.”

Another, asked the first action he would take in the event of an escape, answered, “Rescue everybody.” The same employee, asked what to do if he couldn’t find the tiger, answered: “‘Good question,'” then added, “Somebody’s gonna have to find him.”

The questionnaires also reveled all employees had attended a Wildlife and Fisheries hunter safety course and were trained to carry out the escape plan. Sandlin, though, when asked if he had read the escape plan, answered: “Insurance company wrote escape plan.”

The original version of the bill extended beyond just Tony, to other private owners of exotic cats. It also would have allowed Sandlin to continue to house tigers. But the version the Senate took up Monday makes an exception only for Tony.

“I remember going (to the Tiger Truck Stop) as a kid, growing up,” Ward, 31, said last week. His district includes the town in Iberville Parish where the truck stop is located. Ward said the Sandlins have a good track record of caring for the animals, as far as he knows, and he feel’s his permit should have been pulled because of retroactive rules added to the exotic cat statute. He echoed a concern voiced by Sandlin that relocating the tiger, which Sandlin said likely has six or seven years left, could be traumatic for the animal and possibly risk his health. “I thought it was the right thing to do,” Ward said of sponsoring the legislation.

Matthew Liebman, attorney for the Animal Legal Defense Fund, of Cotati, Calif., said the assertion that relocating Tony could be harmful to the tiger a “sounds like a scare tactic to me.” Liebman represented plaintiffs in the legal battle. Maintaining the tiger in captivity, “and certainly at a truck stop,” raises humane concerns, as well as public safety, he said.

But Sandlin argued the public is “more likely to be attacked by a vending machine or a shopping cart at Albertsons than a wild animal.”

Sandlin said he’s spent more than $250,000 in fighting for Tony in court, and the tiger, at this point, is more of a liability than a financial asset. “But it’s not about the money.

“Over 25 years I’ve been bottle feeding them, wiping their buts, loving them and raising them…Every day I get to see the smiles of people’s faces, especially the children, that love to come stop here and see Tony.”

Sandlin said he was disappointed the addition of the amendment went short of grandfathering in his exhibit for the future, but the bill “would be a victory to get some justice” regarding Tony. He feels he’s been harassed and tried to follow the law, but new rules have “made criminals overnight” of law abiding, responsible private owners.

Morrell also noted the it sets a bad precedent to pass laws the could interfere or reverse rulings from the court system. Tony’s controversy has received interest from around the country and ink from the New York Times, prompting Sandlin to argue it’s mostly vocal activists outside of Louisiana who are advocating against his captivity at the truck stop.

http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/04/tony_the_truck_stop_tiger_bato.html

Bill to keep Tony the Tiger at truck stop fails in Senate via @The_Gambit   Leave a comment

Posted by on Mon, Apr 28, 2014 at 5:55 PM

The Louisiana Senate failed to pass Senate Bill 250 from State Sen. Rick Ward, R-Port Allen, which aimed to exempt certain big-cat owners from a state law banning exotic pet ownership. The law would apply to Michael Sandlin, who owns the 13-year-old Siberian-Bengal tiger named Tony, who has lived at Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete for more than a decade.

The bill passed the Senate’s Committee on Natural Resources April 15. The committee amended the bill to remove an exemption for people who hold a USDA Class C exhibitor’s license, a license which Sandlin possesses. Today, the Senate voted 18-19 against the measure. Ward’s bill attempted to undercut a 2006 state law banning private ownership of exotic pets by exempting those permit holders.

Attempts to remove Tony from the truck stop have been ongoing for years. More recently, the Louisiana Supreme Court rejected Sandlin’s petition in October 2013 to review the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal’s ruling that Tony can’t live at the truck stop. In 2011, the Animal Legal Defense Fund sued the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for unlawfully issuing a permit to Sandlin to keep Tony, and in April 2013, the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal held that Sandlin can’t keep Tony, nor can he keep that permit.

http://www.bestofneworleans.com/blogofneworleans/archives/2014/04/28/bill-to-keep-tony-the-tiger-at-truck-stop-fails-in-senate

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