Archive for the ‘True Blood’ Tag

Attorneys Fighting to Free Tony the Truck Stop Tiger Head Back to Court for New Trial   1 comment

November 1st, 2011

Court Will Rule on Standing of Tony Supporters to Fight for Him in Court, Will Once Again Decide His Fate

For immediate release

Contact:
Lisa Franzetta, Animal Legal Defense Fund
Megan Backus, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Baton Rouge, La. – Tomorrow morning, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and outraged Louisiana residents return to East Baton Rouge District Court to square off against the owner of the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, La., where Tony, a Siberian-Bengal tiger, has been confined as a roadside exhibit for over a decade. The same court granted ALDF’s original request for a permanent injunction in May 2011, a ruling that would have prevented the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries from renewing in December the annual permit that allows Michael Sandlin, owner of the Tiger Truck Stop, to keep Tony on display. In August, the Louisiana Court of Appeals ruled that Michael Sandlin and the Tiger Truck Stop must be named as defendants in the lawsuit and ordered a new trial, vacating the trial court’s earlier decision. In addition to this new trial, the Court will consider a motion by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to contest the plaintiffs’ standing to bring the lawsuit to free Tony.

When:

Wednesday, November 2, 9:00 a.m.

Where:
East Baton Rouge District Courthouse
Room 8B (Judge R. Michael Caldwell’s courtroom)
300 North Boulevard, Baton Rouge

Since ALDF filed its original lawsuit in April 2011, it has argued that the Department violated state law in granting the permit to Michael Sandlin. In tomorrow’s hearing, the Court will again hear ALDF’s argument that Sandlin’s permit to own and display Tony should be invalidated, and that Tony should be released into the custody of ALDF or an accredited animal sanctuary where he can receive care and treatment and live out his life in a more natural environment, free from the 24-hour exposure to noise and diesel fumes and the taunts of visitors. ALDF is requesting both a permanent injunction, which would mean the state could not renew Sandlin’s permit in December, and a mandatory injunction, which would require that Sandlin’s current permit be revoked. The Court may choose to issue a decision in the case immediately following the hearing.

Tony has been on exhibit at the Tiger Truck Stop since 2000; he has lived there with no other tiger companions since 2003. ALDF’s lawsuit to free Tony has drawn the support of high profile advocates like Leonardo DiCaprio and True Blood’s Kristin Bauer and has galvanized activists around the world. The law offices of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell, & Berkowitz, P.C. are providing pro bono assistance with the lawsuit.

“The Animal Legal Defense Fund is confident that the trial court got the law right the first time around and will again make the best decision for Tony,” says ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells. “We would like nothing more than for Tony to spend this New Year’s in the comfort of an accredited sanctuary that is far better equipped to meet his basic needs and to give him the kind of life he deserves.”

http://www.aldf.org/article.php?id=1859

Please Support Tony’s Friend Krisitn Bauer In Her Efforts To Help Chimpanzees   Leave a comment

Click here to sign petition to help chimps!!

Thanks to everyone who took action for captive U.S. Tigers and also for the animals killed in the Zanesville tragedy.

Tony has so many wonderful friends dedicated to him who support his relocation to an accredited big cat sanctuary and who also care about other animals in need of help.

Kristin Bauer of True Blood has been a tremendous advocate for Tony. In turn, can we please support Kristin’s petition to help chimpanzees in the United States? Please sign and share the petition U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: Protect All Chimpanzees.

Supporting each other is so important so we can effectively help all animals who deserve our advocacy, respect and protection. Thank You.

Thanks Kristin Bauer of True Blood   Leave a comment

Thank you (again) to Krisitin Bauer of “True Blood” for her continued support of Tony. After ( @TonyTiger2000 ) sent out this tweet on Twitter (pictured top left,) Krisitn  ( @BauervanStraten ) responded with one of her own to / for Tony.

Twitter has been an excellent platform to network Tony’s story. You can follow Tony @FreeTonyTiger http://twitter.com/#!/FreeTonyTiger and @TonyTiger2000 http://twitter.com/#!/TonyTiger2000

 

Reminders:

On August 15, lawyers for ALDF will be in court in Baton Rouge to defend against Sandlin’s attempt to get the case dismissed. The Court has also set a hearing date of September 15 for ALDF’s motion for a mandatory injunction, which seeks an immediate revocation of Sandlin’s permit to keep Tony. http://www.aldf.org/tony

You can continue to show your support for Tony by signing and sharing his petitions:

ALDF Sponsored Petitions:

1. http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5154/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=6207  (35,936 signatures)

2. http://www.change.org/petitions/speak-out-for-tony-the-truck-stop-tiger  (8,048 signatures)

Care2 Sponsored Petition

3. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/129/272/008/  (41,375 signatures)

More ways to advocate for Tony at: https://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/2011/06/18/your-continued-support-for-tony-is-needed/

From ALDF: Attorneys Fighting to Free Tony the Truck Stop Tiger Head to Court   Leave a comment

May 4th, 2011

Baton Rouge Court to Consider the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Lawsuit Against the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for Issuing Illegal Permit Allowing Tony to Be Kept on Display in Iberville Parish

For immediate release

Contact:
Lisa Franzetta, Animal Legal Defense Fund  
Megan Backus Animal Legal Defense Fund  

BATON ROUGE, La. – Tomorrow morning, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and outraged Louisiana residents will square off against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in East Baton Rouge District Court over the legality of a permit that allows Tony, a ten-year old Siberian-Bengal tiger, to be confined as a roadside exhibit at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, La. In its lawsuit, filed on April 11, ALDF argues that the Department violated state law in granting the permit to Tony’s owner, Michael Sandlin.

When: Thursday, May 5, 9:00am
Where: East Baton Rouge District Courthouse, Judge R. Michael Caldwell’s courtroom, 300 North Boulevard, Baton Rouge

During Thursday’s  hearing, the court will hear ALDF’s argument that Sandlin’s permit to own and display Tony should be invalidated, and that Tony should be released into the custody of ALDF or an accredited animal sanctuary, where he can receive care and treatment and live out his life in a more natural environment, free from the 24-hour exposure to noise and diesel fumes. The court may choose to issue a decision in the case immediately following the hearing.

ALDF’s lawsuit to free Tony has drawn the support of high profile advocates like Leonardo DiCaprio and True Blood’s Kristin Bauer and has galvanized activists around the world. This week, ALDF delivered to the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries over 31,000 signed petitions urging it to revoke Sandlin’s permit to keep Tony. Tony has been on exhibit at the Tiger Truck Stop since 2000; he has lived there with no other tiger companions since 2003. Joining ALDF as a co-plaintiff in the case is former Louisiana Representative Warren Triche, who authored the state’s law that led to the ban on the private ownership of big cats, including tigers. Two other Louisiana residents, also deeply concerned by Tony’s long-time suffering, are additional co-plaintiffs. The law offices of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell, & Berkowitz, P.C. are providing pro bono assistance with the lawsuit.

“Louisiana has explicit regulations designed to protect tigers like Tony, and the Department has disregarded state law and misused taxpayer money in arbitrarily granting the permit that allows Michael Sandlin to keep Tony at the Tiger Truck Stop,” says ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells. “We are heading to court to ensure that Tony is no longer subjected to diesel fumes, harassment, and the unimaginable suffering of life in his lonely cage.”

Copies of the lawsuit and photographs of Tony at the Tiger Truck Stop are available upon request. An attorney for ALDF will be attending the hearing and available for interviews. Reporters attending the hearing should arrive in advance, as it is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. sharp. 

http://aldf.org/article.php?id=1699

From ALDF: True Blood’s Kristin Bauer Talks Tony the Tiger in Exclusive Interview with ALDF   Leave a comment

Posted by Lisa Franzetta, ALDF’s Director of Communications on May 4th, 2011

Kristin Bauer, the actress who portrays the lovely-but-lethal vampire Pam on HBO’s award-winning True Blood, recently teamed with the Animal Legal Defense Fund in the fight to free Tony, a Siberian-Bengal tiger who has been living in isolation as a “tourist attraction” at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana for the past decade. In her video message, she describes what makes Tony’s current life so miserable and urges people to take action.

“In the wild, Tony might roam a territory of one hundred square miles. But for the last decade, he has instead lived in his concrete enclosure, exposed to the noise of diesel engines and the stench of gasoline… Join me and the Animal Legal Defense Fund in urging the state of Louisiana to revoke the permit that allows Tony to be kept at the Tiger Truck Stop.”

We had a chance to talk one-on-one with Kristin about Tony and her concerns about his captivity. Check out this video of ALDF’s never-before-seen exclusive interview:

ALDF is going to court for Tony tomorrow! Join the over 28,000 people who have already signed our petition to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, urging them to revoke the permit that allows Tony to be displayed as a roadside spectacle at the Tiger Truck Stop. Sign the petition and donate today!

http://aldf.org/article.php?id=1697

Animal rights group sues over live tiger display at truck stop   Leave a comment

3:16 PM, Apr 15, 2011 – Written By Ken Christian

BATON ROUGE, La. (NBC) — A Louisiana state agency is under fire from a national animal rights group after activists say the organization issued an illegal permit to keep a grown tiger at a truck stop.

Tony the tiger has been the center of controversy since his arrival at Tiger Truck Stop more than a decade ago.

Now, an animal rights group has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for letting Tony’s owner keep him without meeting all the requirements laid out in the Louisiana law.

In 2006, former state representative Warren Triche authored a bill that eventually led to the ban on private ownership of big cats, including tigers.

“The bill aimed itself at trying to make sure that some organization would be able to have oversight over that captive large animal,” says Triche.

The Wildlife and Fisheries Commission was put in charge of regulating those permits.

They cited several reasons for their decision to stop issuing permits for new purchase, sale, and ownership of big cats, including the safety and care of the exotic animals and the danger posed to people living in the area.

“What happens when a 300 or 400 pound tiger escapes into the general public?” asks Triche. “Who do you call?”

Under the new laws people who already owned big cats, like Tony, were only allowed to keep them if they met certain criteria.

The lawsuit, filed by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, states that Tony’s owner, Michael Sandlin, did not meet all those requirements.

The law states that to keep the exotic pet, you have to live on the same land where the animal is kept.

The lawsuit says Sandlin does not live at the truck stop.

Still, Sandlin received a “grandfather permit” in 2009 and it was renewed in December 2010.

Tony continues to live in a concrete cage right next to the truck stop.

“He’s adversely being affected by the habitat that he’s in,” says Triche.

Advocates to free Tony say he’s being used as a tourist attraction.

“The owner of the cat just uses the cat as a lure into the restaurant and fuel facility there,” says Triche. “His only thought is escape and that’s no way to live.”

The goal of the lawsuit is to revoke Sandlin’s permit, so Tony can find a better home, one where he can live the life activists say he deserves.

Triche says the bill excludes mascots, like Mike the Tiger, from the ban.

A spokesperson for Wildlife and Fisheries says the department is unable to speak about the lawsuit.

Tony is attracting celebrity attention.

“True Blood” star Kristin Bauer, has joined the forces with the Animal Legal Defense Fund to free Tony. 

http://www.wcsh6.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=156099

From Change.org: Animal Legal Defense Fund Sues for Truck Stop Tiger’s Freedom   Leave a comment

Thanks again to Stephanie Feldstein and www.change.org for their continued support of Tony with this great article. Please share  and comment on the article and sign the ALDF sponsored change.org petition: https://www.change.org/petitions/speak-out-for-tony-the-truck-stop-tiger as well as the petition on the ALDF website: http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5154/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=6207

Direct link to the following article: https://news.change.org/stories/animal-legal-defense-fund-sues-for-truck-stop-tigers-freedom

Animal Legal Defense Fund Sues for Truck Stop Tiger’s Freedom

by Stephanie Feldstein · April 12, 2011
In her latest PSA to help animals, actress Kristin Bauer says, “My character, the vampire Pam on True Blood, fends for herself just fine in her unlikely Louisiana home. But for one wild animal in particular, Louisiana is that last place on earth he belongs.” She’s talking about Tony, a ten-year-old captive Siberian-Bengal tiger.It’s not just that tigers aren’t native to Louisiana. Tony lives in a concrete-floored enclosure at a truck stop, where he’s exposed to fumes, noise, and harassment from visitors 24-7. He has no enrichment, no way to engage in natural behaviors and he’s been alone since 2003. Tony spends his days pacing the concrete, a sign of stress that’s taking a physical toll on him, too.

Who would condemn an animal to this sad life? Well, besides the truck stop owner, local and state officials are to blame. Most recently, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which granted a renewed permit allowing Tiger Truck Stop to continue to keep and exhibit Tony … A move that the Animal Legal Defense Fund argues is not only inhumane, but illegal.

Read the rest of this entry »

ALDF Files Suit to Free Tony the Truck Stop Tiger   Leave a comment

The following release is from the Animal Legal Defense Fund who today filed a lawsuit against The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries on behalf of Tony. Direct link: http://www.aldf.org/article.php?id=1675

ALDF Files Suit to Free Tony the Truck Stop Tiger

The stench of fuel. The deafening sound of diesel engines. The neverending boredom of captivity and isolation. Such are the conditions in which Tony, a 10-year-old Siberian-Bengal tiger, 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. That’s why the Animal Legal Defense Fund has filed a lawsuit in Louisiana, arguing that the permit that allows Tony to languish in a roadside cage violates state law.

Tony’s Tragedy
In addition to being subjected to noise and diesel fumes 24-hours a day, Tony is also frequently harassed and taunted by visitors at the truck stop. His enclosure is devoid of adequate enrichment, such as logs, trees, or complex vegetation that would allow him to engage in natural tiger behaviors. He has no pool of water large enough to allow him to submerge himself to cool off in the blazing heat of the summer. As a result of the stress of his confinement, Tony constantly paces on the hard concrete surface of his enclosure, putting him at risk for dangerous and painful veterinary conditions. 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.

Year after year of living at the Tiger Truck Stop have taken their toll on Tony’s health. The ambient noise from the nearby freeway and the idling trucks, their diesel engines spewing noxious fumes directly into his enclosure, is painful and obtrusive to an animal with such sensitive hearing and an acute sense of smell, says veterinarian Jennifer Conrad, who has 16 years of experience with captive large cats and has visited Tony. “Based on what I have observed of Tony’s enclosure at the Tiger Truck Stop and his behavior from video and photographs, it is my professional opinion that this tiger is in poor condition and needs intervention on his behalf,” she says.

ALDF’s Argument
On April 11, 2011, ALDF filed a lawsuit against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (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. Joining ALDF as a co-plaintiff in the case is former Louisiana Representative Warren Triche, who authored the state’s law which led to the ban on the private ownership of tigers. Two other Louisiana residents, also deeply concerned by Tony’s long-time suffering, are additional co-plaintiffs.

At the heart of ALDF’s position is the fact that Sandlin’s current housing of Tony violates state and local laws. In 2006, the Louisiana state legislature unanimously passed Act 715, which required LDWF to control the private ownership of big cats. The department enacted regulations prohibiting citizens from keeping a tiger as a pet or exhibiting a tiger in the state. In passing these regulations, the department rightly declared that possession of big cats and certain other exotic animals poses significant hazards to public safety and health and is detrimental to the welfare of the animals.

The regulations provided an exception, however: individuals who legally owned big cats as of August 15, 2006, were grandfathered in. 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. In addition, Sandlin is ineligible for the state’s grandfathering provision because he does not live on the premises where Tony is kept, contrary to regulations.

Despite the fact that Sandlin was ineligible for a grandfather permit, the LDWF nonetheless issued him one. ALDF is taking the department to court to invalidate this illegally-issued permit.—and free Tony from his troubled life at the truck stop.

Take Action
Join the Animal Legal Defense Fund in urging the state of Louisiana to revoke the permit that allows Tony to be kept at the Tiger Truck Stop—a permit that violates both state and local ordinances designed to protect people and wild animals like Tony.

Sign the petition to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries now!

With today’s announcement from The Animal Legal Defense Fund we are asking Free Tony The Tiger friends to please support the two ALDF petitions for Tony. As well as signing them, also share them via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter, etc.

 Petitions Links:

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

You can also show your thanks to ALDF and Krisitn at these links: 

ALDF on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AnimalLegalDefenseFund

ALDF on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/ALDFAnimalLaw

ALDF on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4hTHzh4M-o

 Kristin Bauer:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PamfromTrueBlood

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BauervanStraten

Kristin Bauer, the actress who portrays the lovely-but-lethal vampire Pam on HBO’s award-winning True Blood, has teamed with the Animal Legal Defense Fund in the fight to free Tony.

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