Archive for the ‘tiger’ 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Special Thanks: The Animal Legal Defense Fund and sanctuaries Big Cat Rescue, The Wildcat Sanctuary and The Wild Animal Sanctuary.
Interviewed are Tiger Truck Stop owner Michael Sandlin, Jeff Dorson of Louisiana’s Humane Society and ALDF’s Carney Anne Nasser, Senior Counsel for Wildlife and Regulatory Affairs.
Tony and his imprisonment at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana continue to be a hot topic.
Criminal?? WE ROAR YES!
Thanks Animal Legal Defense Fund for your commitment to Tony – You have the worldwide support of Tony’s friends as we work together for his release to a reputable sanctuary.
Click below to listen to the podcast.
Repost from Elite Daily by Amanda Holley
Comments supporting tony’s release to a reputable big cat sanctuary are appreciated at the article’s direct link: http://elitedaily.com/life/truck-stop-tiger-animal-welfare/1502326/
Recently, I have had the great pleasure of road tripping from Massachusetts down to Texas. This is truly a wonderful experience because you get to see many of the beautiful sites this country has to offer. We drove through the beautiful, open landscape of Virginia, were dwarfed by the skyscrapers of New York City, mystified by the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and then abruptly disgusted by a tiger being kept in a cage at a truck stop in the Louisiana bayou.
Yes, you read that last sentence correctly. Just in case you didn’t process it (because I still really can’t), there is a TIGER being kept in a CAGE at a TRUCK STOP in Louisiana. There are only about 2,500 left in the wild, but don’t worry. There is one at a freaking truck stop in the boondocks.
Part of me wanted to turn around just to go spit in the faces of the people who think it’s OK to keep a tiger in a cage at a truck stop, but part of me thought they might be the kind of people who liked that. So, instead, I researched and decided to give Tony a voice instead.
Tony The Truck Stop Tiger is a Siberian-Bengal Tiger that has lived at the Tiger Truck Stops in Grosse Tete, Louisiana for more than a decade. He lives in isolation, constantly breathing in exhaust fumes. Aside from breathing in hazardous air, his cage is not enriched and not large enough to support the type of lifestyle tigers typically live. In the wild, tigers are solitary animals that travel hundreds of miles a day. They have very acute hearing, so the constant sounds of large truck engines and the taunting of truck stop visitors is very disruptive to Tony.
The lack of space to exercise, on top of the toxic fumes and constant noises, have left Tony in very poor condition. Vets report that he paces around the cage, which is a behavior tigers partake in when they are stressed. This is a clear sign that action needs to be taken soon for Tony’s welfare.
With the wonders of social media nowadays, huge progress has been made for animal rights. Awareness is spread, good information is falling on listening ears and caring hearts and it is benefitting the welfare of animals everywhere. The best example of this is “Black Fish,” the documentary that ultimately resulted in SeaWorld no longer being able to imprison orcas in bathtubs. However, it seemed strange to me that I had heard about the tiger that just died in Indonesia’s death zoo. Yet, until this road trip, I had not heard of Tony The Truck Stop Tiger.
In today’s world, where we know so much about animal welfare, it blows my mind that this atrocity can even happen, especially since laws like the Big Cat Law are in place to prevent backwoods tool bags from privately owning big cats. So, how is it that something like this can even happen? Why does it happen? And, most importantly, how can we stop this?
The why is simple. Tony is being exploited for the same reason all animals are exploited by humans: Money. The owner of the Tiger Truck Stop, Michael Sandlin, has been exploiting tigers for decades because it lines his pocket. In a state like Louisiana, the tiger business is booming due to state pride in the LSU Tigers (the university has no involvement with Tony).
However, paying for the cost of properly caring for a tiger is obviously not part of Mr. Sandlin’s agenda. In 2003 the USDA cited Sandlin for failure to provide veterinary care for the tigers (he used to have more than just Tony, but was ordered to give them up), improper shelter for the tigers, lack of clean drinking water and lack of qualified employees to care for the tigers. At this point in time, three tigers were removed from Mr. Sandlin’s care. Tony was left behind.
So, how is it that Sandlin is still allowed to keep Tony? Again, this answer is fairly obvious: money and corrupt politics. The Louisiana Department Of Wildlife And Fisheries was successfully sued in 2010 by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) for illegally issuing Sandlin a permit to exhibit Tony. Although Sandlin appealed, the higher court stuck with the decision to revoke the permit because they had Tony’s best interest at heart.
In 2014, however, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed an act that provided Sandlin an exemption to the 2006 law that prohibited the private ownership of dangerous and exotic large cats. Sandlin is still in the midst of countersuing to obtain a permit, but continues to display Tony as a gimmick in the meantime.
Now, here’s the one question I do not have an answer for: What can we do? For now, the ALDF is fighting the legal war with Michael Sandlin for Tony’s release. Much like the legal war that was fought with SeaWorld, it is going to be an exhausting battle. But hopefully Tony can get the happy ending he deserves.
Giving him a voice, however, is something we can do. I had not heard of Tony The Truck Stop Tiger until I passed a billboard advertising him on I-10W in Louisiana. It’s not a nice story to have come across, but hopefully it will now fall onto listening ears and caring hearts, and we can play a role in getting Tony into a sanctuary to live out the rest of his days in a prideful, dignified way that he and all tigers deserve.
Thanks to our good friend on Twitter @jmuhj1 for alerting us to Tony’s “cameo appearance” on Discovery Channel’s “Killing Fields.” A very brief clip of Tony, but we feel it’s important to keep this beautiful tiger and his story fresh and networked. (Click to play video)
You can follow Tony on Instagram @tonythetruckstoptiger Please note, posts are “by Tony.”
If you visit and take pics or video please tag him on Instagram or tweet @TonyTiger2000 and @FreeTonyTiger
We truly appreciate everyone’s positive and dedicated support. Thank you.
Wishing everyone peace, love and happiness and our sincerest gratitude for your continued support of Tony. Our advocacy for Tony remains positive and strong, and your tremendous support is a major component of this campaign. Keeping Tony and his story networked and active is so important, whether tweeting, sharing on Facebook, commenting on posts – all positive actions are very appreciated. See Tony’s social media links at the end of this post.
Special Thanks to our good friends The Animal Legal Defense Fund who continue to fight the legal battle for Tony’s release. Their work for animals extends from captive animals like Tony, Candy the Chimpanzee, Lucky the Elephant, bears Ricky and Ben, and Lolita the Orca to puppy mills, factory farming, animal cruelty cases and so many others. They truly represent “the voiceless.” You can support ALDF here: http://aldf.org/only-a-few-days-left-to-donate-in-2015/ and now to the end of the year your donation will be matched. To keep up to date with Tony’s case and for more background information visit these links:
- Tony’s petition is has over 55,000 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.
A recent post about Tony from The Dodo generated great response on social media. Read: Tiger Has Spent 15 Years Trapped In Cage At Truck Stop; thanks to writer Ameena Schelling and The Dodo for extensive networking of the article.
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
We continue our advocacy on behalf of this beautiful tiger and his release to a reputable big cat sanctuary and thank all of Tony’s friends for their dedication and positive support.
TONY: You are in our thoughts and hearts every day. Stay Strong…We Will Do This.
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.
On World Animal Day we hope to bring Tony’s story and that of captive big cats to people worldwide and ask for support of Tony and for U.S. residents to take action for captive big cats.
World Animal Day began in 1931 in Florence at a convention of ecologists as a means to highlight endangered species. Since then it has developed to include all animals, and countries around the world participate in and celebrate this day. World Animal Day is celebrated on October 4th – The Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi who is the patron saint of animals. Learn more on the official World Animal Day website: http://www.worldanimalday.org.uk/
Our submission for World Animal Day follows (waiting approval ~ will post link shortly)
People all over the world have become aware of the serious issue of captive tigers and big cats in the United States because of a very special tiger named Tony who has lived all of his fifteen years as a roadside attraction at a truck stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana USA. 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 this link: http://aldf.org/cases-campaigns/timelines/tony-the-tiger/
After exhausting all of his options via the courts, Mr. 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. The legislation was passed by the Louisiana Legislature and signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal. The Animal Legal Defense Fund continues their legal battle for Tony’s release to a reputable big cat sanctuary.
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 52,000 signatures. Please sign – it is open to everyone.
Take action for tigers and big cats! Click the picture and ask your representative to support the Big Cats & Public Safety Act!
There are an estimated 10,000 or more captive big cats living across the U.S. They’re housed in backyards, deplorable roadside zoos, and other facilities ill-equipped to care for these wild animals. On September 17, 2015 Representatives Walter Jones (R-NC) and Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) introduced the Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R. 3546) in the US House. The bill, if enacted, will prohibit private ownership of big cats in the US and help to end the national big cats in captivity crisis. We’re asking United States residents to contact their representative for their support at the following link.
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.” Keeping Tony’s story networked is so important. Please check out his social media links and give him a”LIKE” & “FOLLOW” ~ NEVER STOP ROARING!
Join Tony’s Facebook Page:
Free Tony The Tiger On WordPress:
Follow Tony on Instagram:
Follow Tony On Twitter:
Tony On Youtube: