Archive for the ‘Warren Triche’ Tag

From The Daily Reporter: Judge says he’ll rule Friday on challenge to permit allowing tiger at Louisiana truck stop   Leave a comment

  • THE ASSOCIATED PRESS  
  • First Posted: May 05, 2011 – 4:00 am
    Last Updated: May 05, 2011 – 8:18 pm

BATON ROUGE, La. — A judge says he will rule Friday on whether the owner of a truck stop west of Baton Rouge has a legal permit for a caged tiger.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund and former state Rep. Warren Triche Jr. sued Louisiana wildlife officials in April, saying they violated the law by issuing the permit for Michael Sandlin to keep a 10-year-old tiger as an attraction at Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete.

State District Judge R. Michael Caldwell heard arguments Thursday and said he would rule Friday.

The permit was issued in 2009 and renewed last year.

Sandlin and some animal advocacy groups have been at odds for years over his keeping of exotic cats at the truck stop. He currently has one adult tiger, Tony, in a concrete-floored cage just off a parking area.

A lawsuit filed April 11 contends that Sandlin was violating a parish law by owning the tiger, so he should not have been exempted from a 2006 state law against possessing tigers and other big cats. Triche wrote the law, which exempts people who legally owned tigers when the law took effect. The lawsuit also claims that people who have state permits to own tigers must live on the premises, and Sandlin doesn’t.

Sandlin, who is not a defendant in the lawsuit, said last month that the parish ordinance did not apply to roadside zoos such as his. He also said his business is open around the clock so there is always someone on the property, which meets the intent of the residency requirement. Sandlin said he is prepared to move a trailer onto the property if need be.

Sandlin said he has been exhibiting tigers at the truck stop since 1988 and that they have always been well cared for. He accused ALDF of seeking publicity to raise funds at his expense.

The animal group wants Tony released either into its custody or to an accredited animal sanctuary without 24-hour exposure to noise and diesel fumes.

http://www.greenfieldreporter.com/view/story/297adea3955849dfbb4db5bdba64dbf7/LA–Truck-Stop-Tiger/

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 CBS Crimesider: Live tiger doesn’t belong at truck stop, says La. lawsuit   Leave a comment

Clicking on this picture will take you to Tiger Truck Stop photo gallery.

April 14, 20119:45 AM|| Posted by Barry Leibowitz

(CBS/AP) NEW ORLEANS – Why is there a live tiger at a truck stop west of Baton Rouge?

That’s what an animal advocacy group and a former state legislator want to know. Actually, they want to put a stop to it, so they’re suing Louisiana wildlife officials, claiming they violated the law when they issued a permit allowing a live tiger to be on display at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, La.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund and former state Rep. Warren Triche Jr. are among plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed Monday in state district court in Baton Rouge.

The permit was originally issued in 2009, and reissued last year, to Michael Sandlin. Sandlin and some animal advocacy groups have been at odds for years over his keeping of exotic cats at the truck stop. He currently keeps one adult tiger, 10-year-old Tony (what else?), in a large caged area just off a parking area at the facility. He touts the tiger exhibit on his website as a tourist draw, along with a Cajun restaurant, video poker and tire service for truckers.

The lawsuit says regulations adopted by the department under a 2006 state law forbid the possession of tigers. People who legally owned such animals prior to the 2006 law could continue to be permitted. But the lawsuit says Sandlin’s keeping of tigers before the law was passed also was illegal, violating a parish law. Also, the lawsuit claims, Sandlin cannot keep a tiger at the truck stop because he does not live on the premises as required by law.

Sandlin, who is not a defendant in the lawsuit, said Tuesday that the parish ordinance did not apply to roadside zoos such as his. He added that his business is open around the clock so there is always someone on the property, which meets the intent of the residency requirement, and he said he is prepared to move a trailer onto the property if need be.

Sandlin said he has been exhibiting tigers at the truck stop since 1988 and that they have always been well cared for. He accused the Animal Legal Defense Fund of seeking publicity to raise funds at his expense.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20053622-504083.html?tag=contentMain%3BcontentBody

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

Video From WGALTV: Tiger Truck Stop Troubles   Leave a comment

Video uploaded by WGALTV today. Thank You Mr. Triche for being a voice for Tony.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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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