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Battle to Free Truck Stop Tiger Continues

Battle to Free Truck Stop Tiger Continues


The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed a lawsuit on Thursday against Lousiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) to have Tony, the 11-year-old tiger who’s been living on display at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, La., moved to a sanctuary.

The ALDF sued the LDWF and its secretary Robert Barham on Tony’s behalf last year arguing that granting Tony’s owner, Michael Sandlin, a permit in the first place violated state law. Judge R. Michael Caldwell granted the ALDF’s request for a permanent injunction against the LDWF, preventing them from renewing the annual permit that allows Sandlin to keep Tony.

Unfortunately that decision was overturned because Sandlin was not part of the lawsuit. In November Judge Caldwell ordered the LDWF to revoke Michael Sandlin’s permit to keep Tony and bar him from obtaining another permit in the future. Tony’s advocates, who have been fighting this issue for years, cheered the decision …it seemed like he would finally be free.

Oddly enough, Sandlin’s permit expired at the end of December, yet Tony is still stuck in his concrete prison because Sandlin appealed the decision and nothing can be done until the appeals process is complete.

The ALDF’s new lawsuit is seeking to have the LDWF report Sandlin to local law enforcement for violating a 2006 ban on private ownership of big cats, which Sandlin is currently challenging.

“The state of Louisiana has explicit regulations designed to protect tigers like Tony, and the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is required to enforce them,’’ said Stephen Wells, ALDF’s Executive Director.

“The court has already granted Tony and ALDF a victory by ruling that Michael Sandlin’s permit to display Tony was illegal. Sandlin, now without a permit, cannot be allowed to continue to exploit this tiger with impunity,’’ he said.

If Sandlin loses his appeal, he will have 30 days to move Tony to a sanctuary.


Related Posts:

Victory! Tiger Truck Stop’s Permit Revoked

Truck Stop Tiger Ruling Overturned

Lawsuit Filed to Free Truck Stop Tiger

Days Left to Help Save Truck Stop Tiger

Catfight Ensues Over Tony the Tiger

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Photo credit: frankenspock

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3:21PM PDT on Jun 7, 2014

The owner of Tony the Tiger has appealed and still has him. The Department of Agriculture needs to removed Tony (the tiger) from this truck stop and owner immediately and take him to a santuary. This has been going on to long and this wild animal has suffered too much here. HELP TONY get free. Until he gets transferred and removed, he will stay in a cage forever.

9:48AM PDT on Apr 24, 2014

Excellent news that the permit has been pulled. Hope there's a good sanctuary available

9:42AM PDT on Apr 24, 2014

Thx. Seeing that this has been fixed

10:13PM PDT on Mar 18, 2014

I don't understand how this happened in the first place!

9:49PM PST on Dec 7, 2012

I cannot understand how the law allows this man to do this to the tiger. It's sick and shameful!

5:04PM PDT on Nov 1, 2012

I just hope he doesn't die before something good happens in his life.

4:42AM PDT on Sep 17, 2012

I agree with everyone above. We moved out of the Middle Ages several centuries ago. We left behind the need to see exotic animals in little cages when we learned that all animals need to be treated with respect. Or at least, most of us learned it. I am with Pinkie. Where are the picketers in Louisiana if they aren't lining up to gawk at Tony. The world is still full of redneck imbeciles; Louisiana does have more than its share. (I speak from experience.)

3:26AM PDT on Aug 31, 2012

I ask my boyfriend, who drives that way a lot, to check in on Tony for me and we always try to make sure he has a little extra money to donate to the cause of keeping Tony there. I sincerely hope that he gets to stay in his wonderful home for the rest of his hopefully long life.

5:24AM PDT on Aug 30, 2012

Here Ye, Here Ye.....if the law cannot protect this animal, then we as the people need to stand up for this poor overheated, cramped quarters and no mental stimulation.....
Picket the hell out of that gas station, asking people to take their business elsewhere. The owner only speaks money, when this is affected...Tony will be released.
Picket the highway entrance letting motorists know to purchase their supplies elsewhere.

7:18PM PDT on Aug 29, 2012

If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.
---St. Francis of Assisi

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