Archive for the ‘tony the tiger’ Tag


wad 2015 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:


Our submission for World Animal Day follows (waiting approval ~ will post link shortly)

tony profile

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:

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 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!

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:

Tony’s Story:

Follow Tony on Instagram: (@TonyTheTruckstopTiger)

Follow Tony On Twitter:!/FreeTonyTiger (@FreeTonyTiger)!/TonyTiger2000 (@TonyTiger2000)

Tony On Youtube:

New Video Of Tony 9.28.2015   Leave a comment

Video of Tony taken on September 28, 2015.

Please watch and share.

Thanks again to all of Tony’s friends for your continued support.

From “Legally Brief: Animals in Entertainment” ~ ALDF Will Continue to Fight on Tony’s Behalf   Leave a comment

The Animal Legal Defense Fund is the leading force in “protecting the lives and advancing the interests of animals through the legal system.”

Animals used in entertainment suffer tremendously both physically and mentally – and Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Executive Director Stephen Wells’ article recounted some of ALDF’s cases including Tony, orca Lolita, Lucky the elephant and bears Ricki and Ben. Please see the post in its’ entirety here:

Tony the Tiger


ALDF is fighting a lengthy legal battle to allow Tony, a tiger held captive in a truck stop parking lot in Gross Tete, Louisiana, to be moved to a sanctuary. Tony’s owner, Michael Sandlin, has aggressively fought to keep Tony at his truck stop, but ALDF will continue to fight on Tony’s behalf.

Global Tiger Day 2015   Leave a comment

gtd banner tony

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:

tiger collageCAPTIVE 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:


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.

ricky g 7.24

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 ~

The Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone MN ~

The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg CO ~

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 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:

Please share this post and ROAR FOR TIGERS on GLOBAL TIGER DAY!


Kids ROARING For Tony!!   Leave a comment

Thanks to these compassionate young people for caring about Tony and taking such positive measures to advocate on his behalf and to their teacher for providing such a wonderful animal advocacy project and selecting such an important issue – privately owned tigers in the U.S. As we say on Twitter – Tony IS the Captive Tiger Ambassador. Thank You Animal Legal Defense Fund for your dedicated & continued efforts to secure Tony’s release to a reputable big cat sanctuary. You have the support of Tony’s friends from all over the world.

Re-posting this from ALDF:

Students Speak Up for Tony the Tiger

Posted by Jennifer Molidor, ALDF Staff Writer on May 8, 2015

Animal lawyers aren’t the only ones roaring about cruelty to captive animals like Tony the tiger. Kids care too. Tony’s plight—being confined at a Louisiana truck stop parking lot—and ALDF’s ongoing legal battle to release him from that concrete nightmare got the attention of one awesome 4th grade class at Guilmette Elementary School in Massachusetts.


This spring, Ms. Buck’s 4th grade class used Tony’s cause to shape a persuasive writing and research project. Students were so excited about Tony, Ms. Buck says, the project “took on a life of its own.” Students created posters and circulated petitions as part of this project, and wrote letters to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, asking him to take Tony’s suffering seriously.

In particular, students were impressed by ALDF senior attorney Matthew Liebman’s work—Matthew has led Tony’s legal battle for years. Ms. Buck explains:

During their research, the students learned about the Animal Legal Defense Fund… as they read articles about Tony in which you were quoted. They suggested that I forward a sample of their work to you directly because they believe you will be supportive of their efforts.


The Animal Legal Defense Fund is touched and inspired by the dedication of these young advocates. Their letters urge fairness and humane treatment of animals like Tony, and his release to a reputable sanctuary. They also make persuasive arguments backed up with at least three points of solid evidence to prove their points and maintain a truly fair and balanced tone, appealing to the governor’s ethical and responsibility.

In conclusion, we respectfully ask you, Governor Jindal, to do what is right and fair. Hear our voice. –

Do you know how it feels to be locked up in a cage for 14 years? Tony does and that’s why I want Tony the Truck Stop Tiger to go to a sanctuary. –

[Tony’s owner Michael Sandlin] is threatening Tony’s and the public’s safety by keeping Tony. … In fact, Michael Sandlin got written up for “unsanitary feeding practices” by the USDA. –

Tony’s cage is like being locked up in jail. —


As Matthew told the children, “support from people like you keeps my spirits up and helps me keep fighting for his freedom. Your voices join thousands of people who are demanding that Tony be sent to a sanctuary. Sometimes, if enough people raise enough of a ruckus, things can change for the better. You should be proud of your contribution (and thankful you have a teacher who encourages this kind of civic participation). I hope Tony will one day be able to breathe clean air instead of diesel fumes and hear the grass rustling in the wind instead of the idling engines of trucks. Thanks for helping get him a step closer to that day!”

This outstanding class inspires each of us to keep fighting to protect animals. As Matthew says, “even though these battles can be frustrating and slow, don’t give up. The animals are counting on you to speak up for them. Your voice has power. Use it!”

Want to get your class involved in advocacy projects for animals? Check out ALDF’s brand-new youth advocacy action kit!

Instagram Video of Tony Posted by Junibelle   Leave a comment

Thanks to @junibelle for posting this video of Tony recently.

If you visit Tony, please take pictures, video and share with us.

Tag “Tony” on Instagram @TonyTheTruckStopTiger or tweet us @FreeTonyTiger or @TonyTiger2000.

You can also email us at:

Tony the Tiger at the Tiger Truck Stop 🐯

A video posted by @junibelle on

Tony Is A Finalist For A Shorty Award!! #Shorty4Tony   Leave a comment

finalist shorty 4 tony

Shorty Awards finalists have been announced and for the second year in a row…TONY IS A FINALIST!!

THANKS to ALL of Tony’s friends who nominated, tweeted and shared!  This is a great platform to bring Tony’s story and that of captive tigers to more people.

Each Official Category will have 7 finalists. These include 3 with the most nominations from the public, 3 selected by members of the Real-Time Academy of Short Form Arts & Sciences which is comprised of luminaries from advertising, media, entertainment and the internet, and 1 Wildcard Finalist.”

The winners of the 7th Annual Shorty Awards, as chosen by The Academy, will be revealed at the ceremony on April 20th, 2015 at TheTimesCenter at the New York Times building in New York City.

Please join us in congratulating Tony by sharing this post! Easy share buttons below and if you’re on Twitter be sure to follow @TonyTiger2000 and use the hashtag #Shorty4Tony


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