Archive for the ‘The Wildcat Sanctuary’ Tag
July 2016 marks Tony’s 16th year of captivity at Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana – 16 years exploited as a roadside attraction.
This blog for Tony began back in 2009 shortly after learning about him from Big Cat Rescue – Tampa FL. Tony’s story was shocking, unbelievable, and sad – our hope was to give it more public attention and engage organizations that could help him. Social media bolstered Tony’s saga worldwide with his blog, and presence on Twitter (two accounts @FreeTonyTiger and @TonyTiger2000,) Facebook, Youtube and Instagram.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund took on Tony’s case. The permit issued by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries was found illegal and revoked in 2011 by Judge Michael Caldwell; this decision was upheld by The Louisiana Court of Appeal and the Louisiana Supreme Court. When Mr. Sandlin exhausted his appeals he enlisted Sen. Rick Ward to propose a bill (SB 250) to exempt himself from the 2006 law barring private ownership of big cats. The bill was passed by the Louisiana Legislature and signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal (Act 697.) The Animal Legal Defense Fund has been working tirelessly on Tony’s case and has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Louisiana taxpayers, challenging the state’s new special exemption.
With more privately owned tigers in the United States (est. 5,000 plus) than left in the wild (appx. 3,200) support for legislation banning private ownership is very important. The Big Cat Public Safety Act is a federal law that would end the private possession of big cats as pets, props and for their parts. Please help with the passage of this law by contacting your member of congress and asking them to champion the bill. Visit: http://bigcatrescue.org/big-cat-act/ for more information.
We remain positive for Tony and supportive of the efforts to secure his release to a big cat sanctuary. We Thank ALL of Tony’s friends for your dedicated support and ask you to please keep involved on his social media sites. If you visit Tony please share your pictures and videos with us by emailing email@example.com
Special Thanks: The Animal Legal Defense Fund and sanctuaries Big Cat Rescue, The Wildcat Sanctuary and The Wild Animal Sanctuary.
Please support our very good friends Wildcat Sanctuary on Give To The Max Day TODAY ~ NOVEMBER 12th! This is Wildcat Sanctuary’s biggest fundraising day of the year and we’d like to show our support for the tremendous work TWS does providing homes for big cats, educating the public about the big cat crisis and how we can work together to end it. We’d also like to express our gratitude to TWS for their continued support of Tony’s release to a reputable big cat sanctuary and for their standing offer of a home for Tony at TWS.
The Wildcat Sanctuary’s tweet for Tony in 2011; TWS has continually supported Tony and reiterated their offer of a home for him.
Recently at TWS’s Big Cat Crisis Symposium, Tony and the Free Tony The Tiger Campaign were a major topic, including Tony’s presence on social media and the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s dedicated efforts to his release to a big cat sanctuary.
Photos from The Wildcat Sanctuary’s Big Cat Crisis Symposium
Please join us in supporting Wildcat Sanctuary on Give to the Max Day!
“The Wildcat Sanctuary (TWS) is a 501c3 non-profit, no-kill rescue facility located in Sandstone, MN. TWS provides a natural sanctuary to wild cats in need and inspires change to end the captive wildlife crisis.”
The Wildcat Sanctuary does not buy, breed or exhibit animals. TWS is funded solely by private donations and receives no state or federal funding and is USDA licensed and accredited by the American Sanctuary Association and the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.
International Tiger Day, or Global Tiger Day – created at the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit in 2010 – is celebrated on July 29th. Its’ goal is to raise world awareness for wild tigers and support for their conservation. Tigers are magnificent majestic big cats who deserve our utmost respect, protection and advocacy. We ‘d like to contribute to this important day by posting links to visit to learn more about wild tigers, captive tigers, and of course to show our love and support for Tony ~ who has himself raised awareness to the plight of captive tigers in the U.S.
Sadly there are only an estimated 3,200 of Tony’s “cousins” remaining in the wild, a decline of 97% since the turn of the century.
Six sub-species remain: Amur, Bengal, Sumatran, Indo-Chinese, Malayan, South China (functionally extinct – has not been sighted in the wild for more than 25 years); three are extinct: Bali, Caspian and Javan.
Poaching, human-tiger conflict, loss of habitat and prey are the main threats to tigers.
Learn more about wild tigers at these links:
CAPTIVE U.S. TIGERS
Tony is one of the estimated 5,000 or more privately owned tigers in the United States and his plight has definitely raised awareness to this serious issue. Captive U.S. tigers are used in roadside zoos and attractions, photo ops and exhibitions, entertainment shows and circuses, pseudo-sanctuaries, bred for profit or are owned as “pets.” From IFAW: “Private possession of big cats is a legal patchwork: 30 states ban private possession, 14 states allow possession with a permit, and 6 states have absolutely no restrictions on private possession at all. All states but for Kentucky, Ohio, and Washington exempt USDA licensees.”
TAKE ACTION! Protect Tigers: Keep Them Out of American Backyards!
“Shockingly, there are about 5,000 captive tigers in the US—many more than in the wild. Almost all of the captive tigers are owned privately as pets—not by zoos or accredited institutions. Because there isn’t a system to keep track of the tigers, both the American public and the tigers are at risk.”
Please take action at the following link:
THE BIG CATS AND PUBLIC SAFETY PROTECTION ACT
One of the most important ways we can help tigers like Tony and other captive big cats in the United States is to support The Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act. This bill would prohibit the private possession and breeding of captive big cats in the United States except at highly-qualified facilities like accredited zoos where they can be properly cared for and safely managed. It would only allow breeding at accredited zoos, along with some research or educational institutions.
When the Big Cat and Public Safety Protection Act is reintroduced, actions to take will be posted, but in the meantime you can learn more about this legislation here:
We truly appreciate everyone’s dedication to Tony and support of his release to a reputable big cat sanctuary. Tony has become the “poster tiger” for captive U.S. tigers and has raised awareness to this serious issue globally through social media.
A recent Dodo article about Tony’s 15th year at Tiger Truck Stop got tremendous response and support when Mr. Ricky Gervais tweeted it.
We support ALDF’s continued efforts to secure Tony’s release to a reputable big cat sanctuary, three of which have standing offers of a home for him:
Big Cat Rescue in Tampa Florida ~ http://bigcatrescue.org/
The Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone MN ~ http://www.wildcatsanctuary.org/
The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg CO ~ http://www.wildanimalsanctuary.org/
For those of Tony’s friends who may be new to his story, we ask you to reference these articles from Tony’s legal reps The Animal Legal Defense Fund to learn more about the legal battle to “Free Tony The Tiger”:
Special Thanks to Animal Legal Defense Fund for their extraordinary representation of Tony and dedication to him. Please visit their site to learn more about them and their tremendous work to help animals through the legal system and support their Animal Bill of Rights.
- Tony’s change.org petition asking the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to enforce the law remains open and has over 51,000 signatures:
Petitions provide a platform to keep people supportive, involved and updated as well as to demonstrate the interest and support Tony has worldwide.
- Social media is a major component of the “Free Tony The Tiger” Campaign
Join ~ Follow ~ Share these social networking sites for Tony
If you visit Tony, document your visit with pictures and/or video and please share them. Send us a tweet via Twitter or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please share this post and ROAR FOR TIGERS on GLOBAL TIGER DAY!
Re-posting from a Dodo Community article:
Tony The Tiger: 15 Years at Tiger Truck Stop!
As we celebrate our nation’s independence on July 4th, we also mark another year in Tony’s life, one that has been spent in captivity and exploitation as a roadside attraction at Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana.
Signs posted on Tony’s cage, indicate he was born in July 2000, now making him 15 year old. It is reported that Tony was acquired by Michael Sandlin as a 6 month old cub from a Texas breeder.
Anyone who has followed Tony’s story has experienced both its’ highs and lows…hard fought victories in court by the Animal Legal Defense Fund found the permit issued by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries was illegal and revoked; LDWF was blocked from issuing a new permit. Each victory was met with an appeal by Tony’s owner, Michael Sandlin, and subsequently each appeal was denied.
A timeline of Tony’s case can be viewed at:
After exhausting all of his options via the courts, Michael Sandlin enlisted his state Senator, Rick Ward, to propose a bill, SB 250, to exempt himself from Louisiana state law banning private ownership of big cats. This outrageous bill passed both the Senate and House and was signed by Governor Jindal recently. Immediately the Animal Legal Defense issued a statement saying they would challenge the validity of SB 250. On June 25, 2014 ALDF filed suit against the State of Louisiana for violating the Louisiana Constitution by passing a law that exempts a single individual from existing state public safety and animal welfare laws. Defendants include the State of Louisiana, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), the Tiger Truck Stop, and Michael Sandlin.
While Tony’s case remains embroiled in a legal battle, we remain positive, supportive and continue our advocacy on his behalf.
Tony’s change.org petition asking the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to enforce the 2006 law banning private ownership of big cats remains open and is nearing 49,000 signatures.
Petitions reach people worldwide and keep Tony’s story networked and people updated and supportive.
Stay connected with Tony:
Instagram: @TonyTheTruckStopTiger http://instagram.com/tonythetruckstoptiger/#
New media is so important for Tony. If you visit Tony, please document your visit with pictures and/or video and share them with us. You can contact “Free Tony The Tiger” at: email@example.com
Tony has truly raised awareness for captive tigers in the United States where there are an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 big cats kept captive by private owners. The exact number is a unknown because of insufficient record keeping requirements. These dangerous animals are kept as pets, exhibited in roadside zoos, perform in circuses and traveling exhibitions, and bred for profit. Cubs are used in “pay-for-play” schemes and photo ops. You can learn more about the big cat crisis by visiting: http://www.wildcatsanctuary.org/education/captive-wildlife-laws/
Our vision for Tony is his release to a sanctuary where he will have a home that provides expert care, a natural, spacious, safe habitat, and where he will swim, run, play and engage in a tiger’s natural behaviors – finally rid of the noise, smells and his 15 year incarceration at his truck stop “prison.”
(Photo of Tony’s “enclosure” at Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana)
Tony has standing offers of a home at these sanctuaries, please visit the links to learn more about them.
Big Cat Rescue in Tampa Florida ~ http://bigcatrescue.org/
The Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone MN ~ http://www.wildcatsanctuary.org/
The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg CO ~ http://www.wildanimalsanctuary.org/
Once again we thank all of Tony’s friends for their support and for caring about him. Because of you, Tony’s ROAR will never be silent. We remain faithfully committed to Tony and look forward to his release to a wonderful sanctuary.
Stay Strong Tony.
Wishing everyone Happy Holidays and THANKS for your continued support of Tony. Because of YOU our campaign and advocacy for Tony remains strong and sets such an important example against privately owned big cats in the United States.
There are many actions to take to help privately owned tigers and big cats in the U.S. One of the most important is to support The Big Cat and Public Safety Protection Act.
Here are two links to ask the Senate & the House to support this bill:
Special Thanks to our friends The Animal Legal Defense Fund who continue to fight the legal battle for Tony’s release. To keep up to date with his case and for more background information visit these links:
Timeline of Tony’s case:
ALDF Page For Tony:
Thanks also to these wonderful sanctuaries and organizations for their support of Tony and for their tremendous work for animals:
Big Cat Rescue (Tampa FL)
Wildcat Sanctuary (Sandstone MN)
Wildcat Haven (Sherwood OR)
The Wild Animal Sanctuary (Keenesburg CO)
Born Free USA
Tony’s petition is nearing 46,000 signatures. The petition requests the LDWF to enforce Louisiana state law and ensure Tony is relocated to a reputable sanctuary. If you haven’t signed please do and continue to share.
KEEP ROARING FOR TONY! Share his petition, “LIKE” his Facebook page, tweet for him and “with him” and join Tony on Instagram @tonythetruckstoptiger. See the links below.
GET SOCIAL WITH TONY:
“LIKE”Tony on Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/FreeTonyTheTiger
Tony’s Blog: https://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/
Follow Tony On Twitter:
Tony on Instagram: http://instagram.com/tonythetruckstoptiger/#
Tony on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/tonytiger2000/
Tony On Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/FreeTonyTheTiger
Wishing you peace, happiness and compassion…and as the New Year approaches we will continue our advocacy on behalf of this beautiful tiger with the respect he deserves.
TONY: Stay Strong Striped King…and to quote your Twitter words: “Merry GRRRRRistmas”
Click the picture above & support The Wildcat Sanctuary on Give To The Max Day – November 13th 2012.
Photo Courtesy of The Wildcat Sanctuary.
Wildcat Sanctuary is one of three sanctuaries that have offered a home for Tony. They have continually supported his release and posted about Tony to their nearly 2 million Facebook Friends. Please support Wildcat Sanctuary TODAY on Give To The Max Day with a donation at the following link:
In April of 2011, this American Sanctuary Association and Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries accredited big cat sanctuary in Sandstone MN offered a home for Tony.
Click here and support the cats of Wildcat Sanctuary!
Please support Wildcat Sanctuary on their GIVE TO THE MAX DAY THURSDAY NOVEMBER 13 2014.
Sharing this post is also a great way to help…easy share buttons at the end of the post.
Provide a natural sanctuary to wildcats in need and inspire change to end the captive wildlife crisis.
Help create a world where animal sanctuaries are no longer needed.
Who we are
The Wildcat Sanctuary (TWS) is a 501c3 non-profit, no-kill big cat rescue located in Sandstone, MN. TWS provides a natural sanctuary to wild cats in need and inspires change to end the captive wildlife crisis. TWS is funded solely on private donations. The Sanctuary is a home for animals, not a zoo for people and is not open to the public. Combining natural and spacious habitats with a life free of exhibition and exploitation, TWS allows all residents to live wild at heart.
To learn more about The Wildcat Sanctuary view the video below:
I first learned of Tony about five years ago while I was online researching information about big cats. I can honestly say I had no idea about privately owned tigers in the United States or the seriousness of the issue. I remember falling upon Big Cat Rescue’s (of Tampa FL) website and it was there I read about Tony. As with most everyone who learns of Tony’s story, I was shocked – the more I learned the more I wanted to do something to help. I signed petitions, shared his story, and embraced social media starting a Facebook page, blog, Twitter and Youtube for Tony. Tony even has his “own” Twitter and Instagram.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund took interest in Tony’s case and the legal battle began in 2011. ALDF victories in court prevailed with a judge ruling the permit issued by LDWF to Tony’s owner was illegal; Mr. Sandlin countered with appeals that were ruled against.
See this timeline from ALDF:
ALDF’s feature article about Tony:
The most recent attempt by Mr. Sandlin to keep Tony came about with him enlisting his state Senator, Rick Ward, to propose a bill, SB 250, to exempt himself from the Louisiana state law banning private ownership of big cats. SB 250 was passed by the Louisiana Legislature and then was signed into law as Act 697 by Gov. Bobby Jindal.
ALDF challenged this bill by filing a lawsuit against the LDWF, state of Louisiana, Tiger Truck Stop and Mr. Sandlin:
Animal Legal Defense Fund Files Lawsuit against Louisiana for Violating State Constitution with New Tony the Truck Stop Tiger Law:
Thankfully friends of Tony would visit him and share pictures and video they took which is a tremendous help in maintaining a presence online, updating people who follow his case as well as to gain support when there are actions to take on Tony’s behalf. But with all the pictures, videos, and accounts of Tony at the truck stop, I longed to see him for myself.
I finally got the opportunity to visit Tony recently and it has taken me some time to write this account. The whole experience was surreal, exciting, heartbreaking and bittersweet. I was honored to be in the presence of this majestic tiger but saddened by the conditions he is subjected to and disgusted by the blatant corruption and disregard for a state law that passed unanimously in 2006 banning private ownership of big cats. This along with the lack of concern for Tony’s well-being has shocked and disturbed those of us who are committed to Tony’s release to a sanctuary that can provide him with a natural spacious habitat, excellent medical care, proper diet, enrichment and a peaceful life cared for by those who have the utmost respect for him.
Driving along I-10 I saw the signs for exit 139 Grosse Tete and “LIVE TIGER ATTRACTION” It still seemed like a dream to me…I couldn’t believe I WAS GOING TO SEE TONY – a tiger, known and loved all over the world!
As I pulled into Tiger Truck Stop I was anxious to see Tony but remembered a friend’s accounts of visits where he stayed in his den or on top of it where you hardly could see him.
I parked and gathered my camera and phone and walked over to his cage…Tony emerged from his “den” – a handsome big beautiful tiger. I was overcome with mixed emotions: sadness, disbelief, joy, anger – I muttered something like: “Hi Tony, I’ve waited a long time to see you beautiful boy.”
I finally was able to see for myself his enclosure which is 4 compounds of concrete flooring with cinder-block dens and a small grassy area that had a ball; platform, old battered tire and what looked to be a kiddie pool in a wooden platform.
Tony paced from one compound through the grassy area and back again. It was extremely hot near 90. After pacing for quite some time, Tony retreated to one of the den platforms where he stayed for a while until he came down to eat.
I observed people who stopped to take a picture, locals talked amongst themselves how “they” tried to take Tony away from them; a man asked me where Tony was because it was difficult to see him on top of the den; after pointing out Tony to him he said: “This is bloody sad.”
A few days earlier I had visited Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida. I had been to BCR a few years ago and on both occasions I kept thinking what a wonderful life Tony could have at such a sanctuary. BCR, along with The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado and Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone Minnesota all have standing offers of homes for Tony.
Tiger at Big Cat Rescue – Tampa FL
For 14 years Tony has been exploited at the truck stop as a roadside attraction. He has become the “spokes-tiger” for captive tigers and big cats in the United States by networking the issue to people worldwide and gaining support in the U.S. for a federal ban on private ownership of big cats with the Big Cats & Public Safety Protection Act. United States Residents can take action by asking their Congress Members for their co-sponsorship and support of this bill; visit this link from Big Cat Rescue – Tampa FL:
It was very difficult to leave to Tony. I thought of how wonderful it would be to see this striped king running, splashing in a real pool or just resting peacefully in green grass – away from the noise, smells and gritty truck stop environment. I told him to stay strong and that we’ll never give up on getting him to a “good place.”
It was an honor to see Tony. I look forward to another visit – the next time at a sanctuary where Tony will truly be able to experience the magnificent cat he is and live in the home he deserves. Until then, I’ll continue to do whatever I can to support efforts for his release to such a place. Tony has captured the minds and hearts of people globally and his worldwide “army” will never stop roaring for him and his release to a reputable big cat sanctuary.
Stay Strong Tony