“How long should you try? Until.”
Tony’s case is still being fought legally by The Animal Legal Defense Fund. We will post any actions to take to support their case when they become available.
► ALDF Site For Tony:
► ALDF Timeline:
Please continue to share Tony’s story through social media. Networking Tony’s story is important; it helps keep people involved, updated and supportive as well as in the media.
► Social Media Links:
► Sign Tony’s Change.org Petition:
► Visiting Tony
If you visit Tony, please document your visit with photographs/video and share them with us to be posted on Tony’s social media sites. E-mail us with your permission statement of use and how you would like your pictures/video credited to firstname.lastname@example.org
► HELP Captive Tigers & Big Cats
You can help tigers and big cats like Tony by supporting legislation. HR 3546 / S 2541 (the Big Cat Public Safety Act) puts an end to back yard breeding and exploitation of big cats and their cubs in America! Please ask your members of congress to support this bill so that it becomes law this session. Visit: bigcatact.com
► Tony’s Story
Tony was born in July 2000 and has been at the truck stop since he was a cub. According to Mr. Sandlin he got Tony from a breeder in Texas. In 2003, three tigers: Toby and Rainbow 18 years old and 8 year old Khan were removed from the truck stop due to AWA violations which included: “unsanitary feeding practices; mishandling tigers; and failure to provide veterinary care, shelter from inclement weather, clean drinking water, and knowledgeable employees to care for the tigers.” The USDA allowed Sandlin to keep one tiger Tony who was 3 years old at the time. https://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/tony-left-behind-in-2003/
Tony’s case has brought worldwide attention to privately owned tigers in the U.S.. Michael Sandlin’s state permit was found illegal and revoked in 2011 by Judge Michael Caldwell; this decision was upheld by The Louisiana Appeal Court and the Louisiana Supreme Court. Though the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries had the authority to seize Tony and enforce the law and these rulings, they refused to. When Mr. Sandlin exhausted his appeals he enlisted Sen. Rick Ward to propose a bill 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. 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. http://aldf.org/cases-campaigns/timelines/tony-the-tiger/
Three sanctuaries have standing offers of homes for Tony. One such sanctuary’s tiger habitats start at 8,000 sq. ft. or more, all natural substrate, perches, hammock, pool, toys/enrichment and access to an indoor temperature controlled building. Keepers have 4 year zoology degrees and a vet hospital on-site. Another sanctuary recently debuted a 2.5 acre habitat for their cats to “vacation in” with platforms, dens, trees, foliage, a pond and enrichment toys. A sanctuary in Colorado, whose executive director and founder has over 35 years of experience in rescuing, transporting, relocating and acclimating tigers and other big cats to their new habitats without incident, can provide a natural habitat 10-20 acres in size on rolling prairie grasslands, complete with swimming ponds and seasonal lakes. They all have underground dens (that stay about 60 degrees year round), shade shelters and play structures, and all kinds of toys and enrichment. Tony’s enclosure at the truck stop is a dismal 1600 sq ft of concrete compounds and a small “grassy area” that offers him no opportunity to run or engage in any natural behaviors. He has been subjected to the noise and smells of the truck stop and the taunting of tourists for 16 years.
Tony deserves the opportunity to retire to a peaceful, healthy, natural environment. We ask for your continued positive support for Tony. Thank You.
[Updated October 20, 2016]