START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
3,444,679 people care about Animal Welfare

Cat Fight Ensues Over Tony the Tiger

Cat Fight Ensues Over Tony the Tiger

There’s one big cat fight going on in Grosse Tete, La. over Tony the truck stop tiger, who appears to be nothing but an attraction for his owner Michael Sandlin.

Activists are currently fighting to have the Siberian Bengal tiger seized from his concrete cage in the parking lot at the Tiger Truck Stop where he lives and moved to a wildlife preserve.

Sandlin is currently violating a public ordinance that prevents people from owning and displaying wild and exotic animals. This also prevents the state Wildlife and Fishery Department from granting him a permit to own Tony. When they gave him 30 days to find Tony a new home, he instead filed a lawsuit.

Sandlin’s lawyer will be asking the city council to make an exception and override the ordinance by adding an amendment to the ban of wild and exotic animals. On the other side of the fight, Tony’s got some friends including Sky Williamson who has joined her efforts with Big Cat Rescue, who want to see him moved to their accredited preserve.

Williamson, who stumbled upon the truck stop started fighting for Tony in 2005, calls Tony’s living situation animal cruelty on display. “I will never forget that day,” she said. “It took me down to my knees. There were 15 big trucks lined up nearby, all of them running. The smell was horrid. There was feces all over the cage.”

Sandlin, and others on his side argue, in the spirit of let’s leave well enough alone, that this is the only home Tony’s ever known, so he’s better off staying at the truck stop where he is a loved member of the family. If that’s a valid argument, then one could also say that a puppy mill is the only home some dogs have ever known, so they’re better off staying there too, which obviously makes no sense.

Sandlin also says he’s kept tigers there for over 20 years without incident. What he conveniently fails to mention is that he has 20 years worth of USDA violations including unsanitary feeding practices, failure to provide clean water, failure to provide adequate shelter, mishandling tigers, failure to provide veterinary care and the most recent on the list being failure to clean cages and maintain adequate sanitation in 2007.

Those USDA violations sure do scream loving home, don’t they?

Carole Baskin, chief executive officer of Big Cat Rescue, who has repeatedly offered to take Tony, said that even if he did get approval, “There is no way to turn a truck stop into a suitable environment for a tiger.”

Imagine for a moment what it would be like to be a tiger. Now imagine what it would be like to be a tiger stuck in a concrete cage under constant lighting surrounded by the fumes and deafening sounds of the highway and diesel engines from the truck stop while people taunt and throw things at you to get you to move day after relentless day after relentless day.  

Check out this YouTube video comparing the two situations and decide.

The Council will be meeting again to decide Tony’s fate on Tuesday the 17th.

Sign Care2′s petition to send Tony to a wildlife preserve here.

You can also send a form letter directly to the Iberville Parish here

 

Read more: , , , , , , , , ,

iStock

quick poll

vote now!

Loading poll...

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

67 comments

+ add your own
12:56PM PDT on Apr 28, 2012

TONY libero.!!!

8:30PM PDT on Sep 14, 2011

Get him out of the cage and into a sanctuary

4:03PM PDT on Sep 14, 2011

LET HIM LIVE FREE, FREE FROM THE CAGE,

3:15AM PDT on Sep 2, 2011

Sandlin should be put in this insanitary cage. It is high time tony lived his last years in freedom in a sanctuary.

4:25PM PDT on May 6, 2011

Voted 'yes!'

11:26AM PDT on May 4, 2011

Try and Think good thoughts this man will get his some day. For abusive to this tiger Tony.

5:17PM PDT on Apr 20, 2011

Carol-
How can you possibly believe that it is okay to cage a tiger at a truck stop for his entire life? Get real. With everything we know ( or should know), do you honestly believe that is an appropriate and humane environment for him to live out his entire life? No one with any brains would agree with you. You said we should all "stop whining" and leave Michael Sandlin alone. I pity you and your lame attitude. Gandhi said "The greatness of a nation and it's moral progress can be judged by the way it treats it's animals."
No animal deserves this! Patti M.

10:47PM PDT on Apr 18, 2011

Send Tony to a wildlike preserve, living at a truck stop for twenty years is more hell than any person or animal deserves.

9:45PM PDT on Apr 18, 2011

Shared on Facebook!!! :(

7:18AM PST on Dec 6, 2010

Let's send Sandlin to the man eating tigers of India.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Recent Comments from Causes

I hope they checked his citizenship. Of course...they all have kids to stay here. Not surprised to have…

Good i think as now HMO´s are not "natual" so i think if in one thing we put GMO i think is good…

meet our writers

Julie M. Rodriguez Julie M. Rodriguez is an arts, green living, and political writer based in San Mateo, CA. Her work... more
Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!
ads keep care2 free

more from causes

Animal Welfare

Causes Canada

Causes UK

Children

Civil Rights

Education

Endangered Wildlife

Environment & Wildlife

Global Development

Global Warming

Health Policy

Human Rights

LGBT rights

Politics

Real Food

Trailblazers For Good

Women's Rights




Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.