Archive for the ‘secretary robert barham’ Tag

NY Times: A Tiger, a Truck Stop and a Pitched Legal Battle   Leave a comment

nyt tony

Tony, a Bengal-Siberian tiger, is kept on the premises at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, La. Web sites have been created urging Tony’s removal, letters have been written, and public officials have been lobbied.

By
Published: March 27, 2013

GROSSE TETE, La. — The American truck stop is a promise of certain reliables: a shower, a warm meal, some small talk at the counter, a 24/7 source of diesel, beef jerky and cigarettes.

The truck stop here just west of Baton Rouge offers all those things, but as most southern Louisianians know, it has another less standard feature: a 550-pound Bengal-Siberian tiger.

Tony is only the latest in a line of tigers to live here. Thirteen cubs were born at the truck stop, and several adult tigers brought in, including a white tiger named Salena who died of pancreatic cancer in the early 2000s and is now stuffed and sitting in the Tiger Cafe atop the salad bar.

Tony, who is 12 years old, spends his days draped languidly on top of his cinder-block den or pacing around the grass in his 40-foot-by-80-foot caged enclosure on one side of the parking lot, seemingly as unriveted by the truckers as they are by him.

He also appears unmoved by his role at the center of a costly and complicated legal dispute, pitting claims of property rights against animal rights and prompting regular news reports about his impending removal. The legal fight has gone on for years. Tony remains.

“It’s become more of a liability than an asset,” said Michael Sandlin, 50, who has run the truck stop for the past 25 years. “But it’s not the money. It’s the principle.”

The Tiger Truck Stop has long been a thorn in the paw of animal rights organizations and many animal lovers generally. Web sites have been created urging Tony’s removal, letters have been written, public officials lobbied. Robert Barham, the secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, described “cases of mail from every state and a host of foreign countries.” Still, he said, state veterinarians sent to inspect Tony invariably returned with reports of good health.

Matthew Liebman, a lawyer for the Animal Legal Defense Fund, based in California, acknowledged that Tony’s situation was not the worst he had ever seen, though he and others worry about the tiger’s constant exposure to exhaust and diesel fumes.

“The bottom line for us is that tigers don’t belong in truck stops,” Mr. Liebman said. “I think it reflects a pretty commodified, objectifying view of animals that we don’t support — that they are objects of entertainment, that they are gimmicks to sell gasoline.”

In 2006, the state passed a law that put limits on “big exotic cat” possession, but allowed anyone who owned such a cat at the time to be grandfathered in. Mr. Sandlin, who had kept tigers here for nearly two decades, was granted a permit for Tony. But in a 2011 trial, lawyers for the animal defense fund showed that a parish law that was on the books in 2006 prohibited keeping exotic animals and argued that he should not have been exempted from the new law. The judge agreed and ordered Mr. Sandlin’s state permit revoked.

Mr. Sandlin, who still has a federal permit, has appealed the decision, and has also filed a separate lawsuit arguing that the state law itself is unconstitutional because it is applied unevenly and leaves too much discretion to enforcement officials.

Still, he has been looking for a retirement home for Tony. This search generated its own outcry when he said he was leaning toward a wildlife park in Oklahoma owned by a man who calls himself Joe Exotic, but whose real name is Joe Schreibvogel.

Mr. Schreibvogel’s park has attracted a good deal of controversy itself and is being investigated by federal officials for 23 tiger cub deaths. But Mr. Sandlin said he believed that it provided good care, and did not trust others to know what was good for Tony.

“He’s used to the noise from the Interstate and the trucks,” Mr. Sandlin said. “He’s used to people coming up here and looking at him.”

“To tear him away from this,” he said, breaking off, then added, “I think it would be very cruel because that’s what he’s used to.”

Mr. Sandlin and his opponents see the world rather differently. The phrase “animal rights activist,” particularly if it means someone who would ban the private ownership of exotic animals, is to Mr. Sandlin a disparagement on its face. (A T-shirt for sale in the truck stop store reads “Animal Rights Activists Taste Like Chicken.”)

But he takes no offense when critics deride him as a purveyor of roadside entertainment. He considers himself an ally of the traveling circuses that occasionally stop here, and he allows the elephants to graze out back.

The idea of a tiger truck stop had been his father’s, but opening one here seemed particularly apt given that the mascot of nearby Louisiana State University is a tiger. (The university keeps its own tiger, Mike VI, in an enclosure next to the football stadium.)

So in 1988, Mr. Sandlin arrived from Houston with Toby and Rainbow, he a mostly Bengal mix, she a purebred Siberian. In 2000, after the sale of a tiger truck stop owned by Mr. Sandlin’s father in West Texas, Toby and Rainbow were joined by Tony and Salena.

In the ensuing years, the United States Department of Agriculture issued several citations to the truck stop, among other things for allowing cubs to run loose around the office. Mr. Sandlin paid a fine and sold all the tigers but Tony.

About 35 people work at the truck stop, including a sister of Michael Sandlin’s; a brother-in-law; a niece; a nephew; Mr. Sandlin’s mother, Virginia, who handles billing; and his domestic partner of 26 years, Scott Holbrook, who is the vice president of the truck stop as well as the video poker manager.

There is also a middle-aged man named Ray Jackson, who buses tables at the restaurant and who will sing on command. Seeing him outside the Tiger Cafe, Mr. Sandlin said the word and Mr. Jackson stopped immediately and sang “Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross.”

“People get a kick out of that,” Mr. Sandlin said.

For now, there is the wait for a ruling. An immediate change is unlikely even then, but as a breed, the tiger truck stop’s days may be numbered.

“There are certainly some substandard roadside zoos,” Mr. Liebman said. “But this is the only truck stop tiger I know of.”

Photos: http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2013/03/26/us/TIGER.html?ref=us

Direct Link To Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/28/us/truck-stop-tiger-in-louisiana-stirs-legal-battle.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Tony’s Petition ~ Nearing 25,000: http://www.change.org/petitions/ldwf-ensure-tony-the-tiger-is-released-to-a-reputable-sanctuary

From IFAW: The Sad Tale of Tony the “Truck Stop Tiger”   Leave a comment

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

By Jeffrey Flocken

Posted Mon, 05/14/2012

Here’s a report from Gina Miller, IFAW’s legal policy analyst, about a captive tiger in Louisiana:

Laws that govern the private ownership of big cats vary widely from one state to another but they do have one thing in common—they’re not enough to protect big cats in private hands. Some 10,000 to 20,000 big cats are kept captive by private owners in the U.S., and they aren’t in zoos but in backyards, basements, garages, sheds and even truck stops.

Yes, you read that correctly: It is legal to keep a tiger at a truck stop.

Tony, a 10 year old Siberian-Bengal tiger, has been kept every single day of his life at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana. Living at a truck stop is no life for a tiger; Tony is subjected to noise and diesel fumes from trucks and kept in a concrete cage with no adequate enrichment or escape from the elements, resulting in constant stress. Ten years of living at Tiger Truck Stop have taken a toll on Tony’s health, according to experts.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham granted a permit allowing for Tony the tiger to be exhibited at the truck stop in Louisiana. After the state permit was issued, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed a lawsuit arguing that LDWF violated state legislation prohibiting persons from keeping a tiger as a pet or exhibiting a tiger within the state, but those that owned big cats legally before this law was passed were able to keep their animals.

Here’s the issue: Tony’s owner, Michael Sandlin, didn’t legally own him because his town’s ordinance made it illegal to keep a tiger on his premises.

The good news is that Tony’s permit expired in December of 2011 and hasn’t been renewed. The bad news is Tony is still being kept at the truck stop in violation of Louisiana law because the judge ruled that the Department has discretion whether or not to enforce Louisiana’s law on big cats. This “discretion” is allowing Tony the tiger to languish at a truck stop.

But Tony will have another day in court. Tony’s owner sued the State of Louisiana claiming that the law against private ownership of big cats was unconstitutional. Advocates for Tony’s health and safety will have the chance to support Louisiana’s authority to protect the public and the welfare of animals like Tony.

There is no reason that Tony or big cats like him should be left to suffer at truck stops due to squabbles over state laws and poor enforcement. As evidenced by Tony’s plight and the tragic Zanesville massacre, a nationwide solution like the Federal Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act, H.R. 4122, is needed. Please urge your U.S. Representative to support the passage H.R. 4122 and protect tigers like Tony!

http://www.ifaw.org/us/news/sad-tale-tony-%E2%80%9Ctruck-stop-tiger%E2%80%9D

“How long should you try? Until.”   2 comments

Tony December 17, 2011 (Photo Courtesy of & ©Cloversweed 2011)

November 2 2012: Nearly three months have passed since the last court hearing on August 6, 2012 without a decision.  Tony  is being kept at the truck stop without a permit, i.e. illegally. In two court hearings, May 6th, 2011 and November 2nd, 2011, Judge Caldwell agreed with The Animal Legal Defense Fund (representing Tony) and their argument that the permit that allows his owner to keep Tony was unlawfully issued by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. On May 6th, 2011 Judge Caldwell granted a permanent injunction blocking LDWF from issuing a new permit to Tony’s owner, and on November 2, 2011 he again prohibited the LDWF from issuing any new permits to the truck stop and ordered the current permit revoked.

While we continue to wait, more importantly – so does Tony, and the best thing we can do is remain positive and supportive of him. Keeping Tony’s story networked so people know he is still at the truck stop is vital. While this is repetitive, please continue to share his petition, sign if you have not already, and share links for Tony on Facebook and Twitter. See below for more info.

December 24 2011: The recent articles about Tony and his possible move to an Oklahoma “exotic animal park” under investigation by the USDA for the deaths of 23 tiger cubs as well as the conditions and practices of this “park” which include money-making schemes such as exploiting tiger cubs in hands-on exhibits and photo ops are of great concern to all of us.

This “facility” is also asking for donations to build Tony a habitat which demonstrates they are not prepared and not equipped to provide the proper home and care that Tony needs and deserves.

There are accredited reputable humane big cat sanctuaries that stand ready to give Tony the home, care, life and respect he deserves.

A sanctuary as defined in the Captive Wildlife Safety Act:

• Must be a non-profit entity that is tax exempt under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code
• Cannot engage in commercial trade in big cat species, including their offspring, parts, and products made from them
• Cannot breed big cats
• Cannot allow direct contact between big cats and the public at their facilities
• Must keep records of transactions involving covered cats
• Must allow the Service to inspect their facilities, records, and animals at reasonable hours

Reference: http://www.fws.gov/le/pdffiles/CWSA_Factsheet.pdf

Clearly this Oklahoma facility does not comply with these regulations. It is imperative we continue our advocacy on behalf of Tony for his release to a sanctuary that is humane, reputable and in compliance with the above stipulations.

ALDF is well-aware of the this “animal park.” Posted by Animal Legal Defense Fund on December 6th, 2011: “Our attorneys are researching various legal strategies for ensuring that Tony goes to a reputable sanctuary, not a roadside zoo.  http://aldf.org/article.php?id=1891

How You Can Help Tony

  • Voice your concerns for Tony to The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for his release to a reputable, established, humane accredited big cat sanctuary that will meet all of his needs.

It’s very important that all correspondence for Tony be done in a respectable focused manner. While we are all very passionate and concerned about Tony, his health and welfare, please remember polite and focused letters have a better chance of being addressed and our concerns taken seriously. When you advocate for Tony, you are representing him – he deserves the utmost respect as do the individual(s) we are writing to.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

Maria Davidson
Large Carnivore Program Manager
Louisiana Department Wildlife and Fisheries
5652 Highway 182
Opelousas LA 70570
Phone: (337) 948-0255
Fax: (337) 948-0213

e-mail: mdavidson@wlf.la.gov

Fred Kimmel (Ms. Davidson’s supervisor)
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
2000 Quail Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
Phone: (225) 765-2355

e-mail: fkimmel@wlf.la.gov

Bo Boehringer
LDWF Press Secretary
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
2000 Quail Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
Phone: 225- 765-5115

e-mail: bboehringer@wlf.la.gov

Robert J. Barham, Secretary
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
P.O. Box 98000
Baton Rouge, LA 70898
Phone: (225) 765-2623
Fax: (225) 765-2607

e-mail: rbarham@wlf.la.gov

e-mail: sfalcon@wlf.la.gov

web e-mail form: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/contact

Governor Bobby Jindal
Office of The Governor
P. O. Box 94004
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9004
Phone: (225) 342-7015
Fax: (225) 342-7099

web e-mail form: http://www.gov.la.gov/index.cfm?md=form&tmp=email_governor

  • New Change.org Petition For Tony  – January 16, 2012  

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

This petition asks the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to ensure Tony is released to a reputable sanctuary.

  • Care2 Petition For Tony CLOSED (53,614 Signatures)

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/129/272/008/ 

  • Comment on these recent articles:

Possible new home for Truck Stop Tiger under investigation
http://www.nbc33tv.com/all-about-animals/possible-new-home-for-truck-stop-tiger-under-investigation

Oklahoma park probed in tiger cub deaths
http://theadvocate.com/home/1608646-125/oklahoma-park-probed-in-tiger.html

  • Please continue to share these posts from The Animal Legal Defense Fund on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter:

Victory For Tony!! http://aldf.org/article.php?id=1859

ALDF’s page for Tony: http://www.aldf.org/tony

What Is Best For Tony? http://www.aldf.org/article.php?id=1861

ALDF Article: Making Sense of the Current Status of the Tony the Tiger Cases

Sincerest thanks to all of Tony’s friends for your concern, commitment and ongoing support of Tony. Together let’s continue to advocate for him and the home, life and care he deserves.

“Never doubt that a small group of concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

Photos in this slideshow Courtesy of & ©Cloversweed 2011 Thank You for sharing your pictures of Tony all taken December17, 2011 with the exception of the one of Tony with his blue ball from May 2011. Direct link: https://www.facebook.com/#!/media/set/?set=a.108864299212681.12944.100002673354863&type=3

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Judge rules Tony the Tiger can’t stay at truck stop   Leave a comment

Posted by Alex Woodward on Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Following a legal battle among Baton Rouge courts, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and Tiger Truck Stop owner Michael Sandlin, a judge today ruled that Sandlin’s big cat — a 550-pound Bengal-Siberian tiger — can no longer be kept at the truck stop.

This afternoon, Judge Michael Caldwell ruled that Sandlin’s current permit to keep the cat (issued by the LDWF) was illegally issued, must be revoked, and can’t be renewed. “We’re delighted,” said ALDF communications director Lisa Franzetta. “The judge got the letter of law right.”

In April, the ALDF slapped a lawsuit against the LDWF and its secretary Robert Barham, arguing that he “violated state law in granting a permit allowing Sandlin to exhibit Tony at the Tiger Truck Stop,” in particular Act 715, prohibiting citizens from keeping a tiger as a pet or exhibiting a tiger in the state, grandfathering in individuals who legally owned big cats as of August 15, 2006. But, ALDF argued, “These owners would need to apply for an annual permit from the LDWF. An ordinance passed in Sandlin’s parish of Iberville in 1993 made it illegal for anyone to keep a tiger or other large exotic cat on his or her premises for exhibition. In other words, Sandlin did not qualify for the exception because he was not in legal possession of Tony.” So that’s that.

In August, Caldwell ruled to review the case to include Sandlin in the hearing. Today, Caldwell sided with ALDF.

“Our concerns are the conditions in which Tony is kept,” Franzetta said. She said the organization wants to
ensure Tony has the resources to “make sure he ends up at a sanctuary” for big cats.

http://www.bestofneworleans.com/blogofneworleans/archives/2011/11/02/judge-rules-tony-the-tiger-cant-stay-at-truck-stop

Your Continued Support For Tony Is Needed!!   2 comments

Update July 18, 2011: The July 22, 2011 hearing is postponed. More info when it becomes available.

Update on ALDF website: A hearing is now scheduled for July 22.

It’s unfortunate and disappointing that The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries was granted a postponement of the hearing scheduled on June 14th, 2011. The Animal Legal Defense Fund sought a mandatory injunction which would require the LDWF to revoke the current permit and seize Tony so he would not have to wait until December 2011 for relocation. Why does the LDWF want the hearing postponed? Shouldn’t their concern be for Tony and his health and welfare? No further permits can be granted to Mr. Sandlin from the LDWF – why should Tony have to languish at the truck stop until December? The LDWF needs to exercise its authority and do what is best for Tony – revoke the current permit so he can have the life and care he deserves at a humane accredited big cat sanctuary that can provide all of his needs.

 In a recent article a spokesman for LDWF stated that: The Department receives e-mails and U.S. Mail concerning Tony on a regular basis.” andPublic input favors revocation.” Source: http://www.examiner.com/animal-policy-in-national/public-input-favors-revocation-of-truck-stop-s-permit-to-keep-tiger-says-louisi

It’s important for us to continue advocating for Tony and for his release before December 2011.

 

Please take action on the following so the LDWF remains aware of our concerns for Tony:

  • Sign and share Tony’s petitions.

ALDF Sponsorsed Petitions:

1. http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5154/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=6207 (34K plus signatures)

2. http://www.change.org/petitions/speak-out-for-tony-the-truck-stop-tiger (6,200 plus signatures)

Care2 Sponsored Petition

3. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/129/272/008/

Petition Notes:

ALDF has asked for ongoing support of Tony’s petition(s) From: The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Facebook page: Our hearing to argue for Tony’s immediate release has been postponed due to a request by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. We will keep you posted once a new date has been scheduled. Please continue to sign ALDF’s petition to help free Tony!

 Care2 recently stated a petition for Tony though the text in the overview is misleading:

“This May, thanks to efforts by Care2 members and the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agreed that Tony should be set free.”

 The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries never agreed that Tony should be set free. On May 6, 2011 Judge R. Michael Caldwell issued a permanent injunction barring the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries from issuing any further permits to Tony’s owner Michael Sandlin. See The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s post: http://aldf.org/article.php?id=1700 and more information at: http://www.aldf.org/tony   

It’s very important that all correspondence for Tony be done in a respectable focused manner. While we are all very passionate and concerned about Tony, his health and welfare, please remember polite and focused letters have a better chance of being addressed and our concerns taken seriously. When you advocate for Tony, you are representing him – he deserves the utmost respect as do the individual(s) we are writing to. A recent reply from Secretary Barham was received. You can use the text of the ALDF petitions listed above as references to construct your letter.

  • Voice your concerns for Tony, for the current permit to be revoked and for Tony to be relocated to a reputable, established, humane accredited big cat sanctuary that will meet all of his needs to:

Secretary Robert J. Barham
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
P.O. Box 98000
Baton Rouge, LA70898

Phone: (225) 765-2623
Fax: (225) 765-2607

You can also try these e-mail addresses for Mr. Barham; recent correspondence has not bounced back:

sfalcon@wlf.la.gov

rbarham@wlf.la.gov

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

Online e-mail contact form for the LDWF: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/contact

Maria Davidson
Large Carnivore Program Manager
Louisiana Department Wildlife and Fisheries
5652 Highway 182
Opelousas LA 70570

Phone: (337) 948-0255
Fax: (337) 948-0213

e-mail: mdavidson@wlf.la.gov

Fred Kimmel (Ms. Davidson’s supervisor)
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
2000 Quail Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70808

Phone: (225) 765-2355

e-mail: fkimmel@wlf.la.gov

Main Office:
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
2000 Quail Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70808

Phone: (225) 765-2800

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

Office of The Governor
P. O. Box 94004
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9004
Phone: (225) 342-7015
Fax: (225) 342-7099

web e-mail form: http://www.gov.la.gov/index.cfm?md=form&tmp=email_governor

  • Please continue to share Tony’s ALDF link http://www.aldf.org/tony and the petition links with friends, family, and on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, etc.

Thanks to everyone for their dedication and support of Tony, with ‘freedom” so close for Tony, we must press on. Stay Strong Tony.

From The IS Foundation: Tony The Truck Stop Tiger   Leave a comment

From The IS Foundation:

We have all heard of “Tony the Tiger”, but have you ever heard of “Tony the truck stop tiger?” Tony the truck stop tiger is a ten year old Siberian- Bengal tiger and he is the current attraction at a local truck stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana. Tony has been caged at this truck stop for the past ten years and alone for the past seven years. Tony’s home consists of diesel fumes, loud trucks, and not to mention the harassment of the tourists that come through there day and night.

Tony’s cage is nothing but cement and bars; there is no homey feel to this cage for a tiger. Being in a closed cage with nowhere to run can cause stress on a tiger creating him to pace back and forth. In doing this it can cause the pads on his feet to wear down and become sore and injured. If tigers are caged in they at least need room to run around and stretch their legs as well as a pool to bathe in on hot days; there also needs to be trees for shade and places to hide just as if they were in the wild. Although tigers do live longer in captivity a truck stop is no place for a tiger to be. There is no telling what the fumes are doing to the tiger as well as the stress he is under.

“Michael Sandlin, the owner of Tony and the truck stop, has been cited by the USDA due to violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including a lack of proper sanitation and improper feeding practices” (Animal Legal Defense Fund).

“On April 11, 2011, ALDF filed a lawsuit against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and its secretary Robert Barham, arguing that he violated state law in granting a permit allowing Sandlin to exhibit Tony at the Tiger Truck Stop” (ALDF).

“On Friday, May 6, District Judge R. Michael Caldwell of the East Baton Rouge District Court granted the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s (ALDF) request for a permanent injunction against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), preventing them from renewing the annual permit that allows Michael Sandlin to keep Tony as of this December 14” (Care2).

Although Tony doesn’t know it there are people all over the world are fighting for his freedom. Even though he will be free on December 14, 2011 people are still fighting for him to be freed now! ”The ALDF plans to work with the LDWF to find the best home for Tony and will make recommendations on sanctuaries where Tony can live out the rest of his days in an environment that can actually meet his needs” (Care2). We are all looking forward to the day that Tony the Truck Stop Tiger will be able to leave the truck stop and all those harmful fumes and loud noises behind for a new life full of nature and those wild tiger adventures ahead of him.

Care2: http://www.care2.com/causes/animal-welfare/blog/victory-aldf-wins-freedo…

 Animal Legal Defense Fund: http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5154/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=6207

http://www.isfoundation.com/news/tony-truck-stop-tiger-0

About the IS Foundation

OUR MISSION

The IS FOUNDATION aims to empower, educate and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures.

http://www.isfoundation.com/

Important!! Roar On For Tony   2 comments

Photo Courtesy: ISF_Louisiana http://twitpic.com/4ya0tt

We are very appreciative of the recent decision on May 6, 2011 by Judge R. Michael Caldwell who granted a permanent injunction barring the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries from issuing any further permits to Tony’s owner Mr. Michael Sandlin. While the decision is a positive action for Tony, the court refused to order the LDWF to revoke the current permit, which expires on December 14, 2011. Tony remains at the truck stop until then.

“Even though the court refused to order the Department to revoke the current permit, the Department retains the authority to do so on its own if it chooses.” Source: http://aldf.org/article.php?id=1711

There is no reason why Tony must languish and suffer at the truck stop until mid December. It’s important to continue supporting Tony and advocating for his early release to an accredited, reputable and humane big cat sanctuary and to keep his story highly visible.

Two such sanctuaries, Big Cat Rescue of Tampa FL and The Wildcat Sanctuary of Sandstone MN both have publicly offered homes for Tony where he would be provided with a natural habitat, proper diet, medical care, and enrichment.

How You Can Help Tony:

You can support Tony by signing and sharing his two ALDF sponsored petitions: http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5154/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=6207 and http://www.change.org/petitions/speak-out-for-tony-the-truck-stop-tiger

It’s very important that all correspondence for Tony be done in a respectable focused manner. While we are all very passionate and concerned about Tony, his health and welfare, please remember polite and focused letters have a better chance of being addressed and our concerns taken seriously. When you advocate for Tony, you are representing him – he deserves the utmost respect as do the individual(s) we are writing to. You can use the text of the ALDF petitions listed above as references to construct your letter.

Voice your concerns for Tony, for the current permit to be revoked and for Tony to be relocated to a reputable, established, humane accredited big cat sanctuary that will meet all of his needs to:

Secretary Robert J. Barham
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
P.O. Box 98000
Baton Rouge, LA70898

Phone: (225) 765-2623
Fax: (225) 765-2607

You can also try these e-mail addresses for Mr. Barham; recent correspondence has not bounced back:

sfalcon@wlf.la.gov

rbarham@wlf.la.gov

Online e-mail contact form for the LDWF:

http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/contact

 Notes:

Please continue to share Tony’s story and the petition links with friends, family, on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, etc. Links to recent ALDF posts:

Answers to Your Questions About ALDF’s Win for Tony the Tiger: http://aldf.org/article.php?id=1711

Victory in Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Lawsuit to Free Tony the Truck Stop Tiger: http://www.aldf.org/article.php?id=1700

http://www.aldf.org/tony

Petitions:

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

http://www.change.org/petitions/speak-out-for-tony-the-truck-stop-tiger

Sincere Thanks to The Animal Legal Defense Fund, the attorneys of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, Mr. Warren Triche, Louisiana residents who spoke out for Tony, Big Cat Rescue of Tampa FL, The Wildcat Sanctuary of Sandstone MN, change.org, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kristin Bauer, Ian Somerhalder, and to ALL of Tony’s friends around the world for caring and never giving up on him. Roar On…

Today From The Organic View: Tony The Truck Stop Tiger: Animal Cruelty For Amusement   2 comments

The Organic View Radio Show host June Stoyer will speak to Big Cat expert, Laura Lassiter and Carter Dillard, the Director of Litigation for the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Tune in TODAY 4pm EST to hear about this wildlife cruelty case that has gained international attention. See more info at: http://ow.ly/4NfQb

From The Organic View:

Some people choose animals as companions. Then, there are others that choose to exploit, abuse and profit from their misery. Such is the case with a 10 year old Siberian-Bengal tiger named Tony. He has spent every day and night of the last decade at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana.

It’s no life for a tiger, or any other animal. On April 11, 2011, Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed a lawsuit against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and its secretary Robert Barham, arguing that he violated state law in granting a permit allowing Michael Sandlin to continue to exhibit Tony at the Tiger Truck Stop. This permit, that allows Tony to languish in a roadside cage, violates state law.  The case has reached international attention as people are aghast that such cruelty is tolerated in the United States.

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