FREE TONY THE TIGER

Archive for January, 2012|Monthly archive page

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In "animal cruelty on display", "corruption", "free tony the tiger", "grosse tete", "Iberville parish", "michael sandlin", "tiger truck stop", ™FREE TONY THE TIGER CAMPAIGN, louisiana, Tony The Truck Stop Tiger on 29/01/2012 at 9:39 PM

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SANDLINS FACEBOOK PAGE

In "animal cruelty on display", "corruption", "free tony the tiger", "grosse tete", "Iberville parish", "michael sandlin", "tiger truck stop", ™FREE TONY THE TIGER CAMPAIGN, louisiana, Tony The Truck Stop Tiger on 26/01/2012 at 9:15 PM

SHARED AND  QUOTED FROM MR. SANDLINS FACEBOOK PAGE  …. Keep Tony Where He Is “UPDATE ON COURT CASES…Judge Michael Caldwell denied our request for a Suspensive Appeal. His ruling of denying a new state permit remains. Steve Leblanc (attorney) expected him to do that. He is definately in the ARA’s pockets. However, the appeal will go on and Wildlife & Fisheries has promised to take no actions against me. This includes any criminal charges or seizing Tony. The NEW DESCRIMINATION LAWSUIT is underway. Judge Janice Clark has requested a $100,000.00 bond in connection with our request for a restraining order against the State. I am busy trying to find an insurance company to write it. Jennifer Treadway Morris (attorney) is trying to get the judge to lower the bond amount because it is unreasonable.”.

SANDLINS FACEBOOK PAGE

In ™FREE TONY THE TIGER CAMPAIGN on 26/01/2012 at 9:11 PM

SHARED AND  QUOTED FROM MR. SANDLINS FACEBOOK PAGE  …. Keep Tony Where He Is “UPDATE ON COURT CASES…Judge Michael Caldwell denied our request for a Suspensive Appeal. His ruling of denying a new state permit remains. Steve Leblanc (attorney) expected him to do that. He is definately in the ARA’s pockets. However, the appeal will go on and Wildlife & Fisheries has promised to take no actions against me. This includes any criminal charges or seizing Tony. The NEW DESCRIMINATION LAWSUIT is underway. Judge Janice Clark has requested a $100,000.00 bond in connection with our request for a restraining order against the State. I am busy trying to find an insurance company to write it. Jennifer Treadway Morris (attorney) is trying to get the judge to lower the bond amount because it is unreasonable.”.

Tony’s Story ~ Reminder

In "animal cruelty on display", "corruption", "free tony the tiger", "grosse tete", "Iberville parish", "michael sandlin", "tiger truck stop", ™FREE TONY THE TIGER CAMPAIGN, louisiana, Tony The Truck Stop Tiger on 26/01/2012 at 8:43 PM

Video Courtesy of The Animal Legal Defense Fund

Video Courtesy of Big Cat Rescue of Tampa FL

UPDATE: January 4, 2012: Michael Sandlin filed suit Tuesday January 2, 2012 against the state of Louisiana and Iberville Parish in another attempt to continue keeping Tony at the truck stop. Michael Sandlin argues he and his truck stop have held a federal permit since 1988 to keep tigers at the truck stop, and Tony, a Siberian-Bengal mix, has been kept there lawfully for 10 years. Animal Legal Defense Fund staff attorney Matthew Liebman said Sandlin’s lawsuit is “baseless and without merit.’’

“We are confident that the state of Louisiana and the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries acted well within their legal authority when they decided to protect both the public and big cats like Tony by restricting private ownership of wild animals,’’ he said.

Complete article: http://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/another-suit-filed-in-grosse-tete-tiger-case/

UPDATE: December 12, 2011: State District Judge Mike Caldwell denied Tuesday a motion for a new trial filed on behalf of Michael Sandlin, owner of Tiger Truck Stop Inc. near Interstate 10 in Iberville Parish.

The motion was filed Nov. 20 after Caldwell ruled the tiger would not be permitted to remain at Sandlin’s truck stop. More info: http://theadvocate.com/home/1546068-125/judge-denies-new-trial-motion.html

December 6, 2011: Posted by Animal Legal Defense Fund on December 6th, 2011

ALDF is well-aware of the allegations of horrendous conditions at G.W. Exotic Animal Park. Our attorneys are researching various legal strategies for ensuring that Tony goes to a reputable sanctuary, not a roadside zoo. http://aldf.org/article.php?id=1891

UPDATE: December 5, 2011: Both Mr. Sandlin and The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries have filed motions for a new trial. Sandlin’s motion basically re-argues everythingJudge R. Michael Caldwell has already decided.

LDWF’s motion focuses only on the award of costs to the plaintiffs and is not contesting the decision. A hearing date is pending and any further information will be posted when it becomes available.

Please continue to support Tony: http://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/stay-strong-tony-recent-pics-of-tony/ Thank You.

UPDATE: November 4, 2011: Recents Facebook posts from The Animal Legal Defense Fund concerning the decision on Wednesday November 2, 2011 for Tony: “ALDF hopes to work with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Mr. Sandlin to find the best possible new home for Tony, providing recommendations for reputable sanctuaries where Tony can live out his life in a peaceful, natural environment. || Yes, Mr. Sandlin can appeal. It is unknown if he will.” http://www.facebook.com/#!/AnimalLegalDefenseFund

UPDATE: November 2, 2011: VICTORY FOR TONY! Court Rules Current Permit Must Be Revoked Great news from Baton Rouge, where Judge Michael Caldwell has ruled in favor of the Animal Legal Defense Fund and Louisiana taxpayers in our lawsuit to free Tony the Tiger from the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana.

Judge Caldwell agreed with ALDF’s argument that the permit that allows Sandlin to keep Tony was unlawfully issued by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The judge ordered the Department to revoke the current permit and prohibited it from issuing any new
permits to the Truck Stop. “We are thrilled that the court made the right decision,” says ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells. “We will continue to do everything we can to make sure Tony’s next home is a reputable, accredited sanctuary that can give Tony the life he deserves.” http://aldf.org/article.php?id=1859

UPDATE: October 7, 2011: The exception hearing on October 17th is rescheduled to November 2nd when the court will also hear The Animal Legal Defense Fund ‘s motion for a permanent injunction to revoke the permit which allows Mr. Sandlin to keep Tony at the truck stop.

UPDATE: September 20, 2011: Via The Animal Legal Defense Fund: The court has scheduled two new hearings in the Tony the Tiger case. On October 17th, the court will hear the State’s exceptions, which challenge the plaintiffs’ standing to bring the case. On November 2nd, the court will hear ALDF’s motion for a permanent injunction to revoke the permit that lets Michael Sandlin confine Tony at the Tiger Truck Stop.

UPDATE: August 29, 2011: Via The Animal Legal Defense Fund: “This morning, the Louisiana Court of Appeals ruled that Michael Sandlin and the Tiger Truck Stop are necessary parties to the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s lawsuit to free Tony the Tiger and ordered a new trial in the case. In so ruling, the Court vacated the permanent injunction issued by the trial court that would have freed Tony in December. The decision means ALDF will need to amend its complaint to add the new defendants, then re-do the litigation thus far. While we disagree with the Court of Appeals’ ruling, this is just a minor set-back. We are confident that the trial court got the law right the first time around and will rule the same way when we go through it again with Mr. Sandlin and the Tiger Truck Stop as parties.”

UPDATE: August 15, 2011: Today’s exception hearing concerning Mr. Sandlin’s attempt to have the case dismissed has been denied. The judge will not allow the “interveners” to be party to the suit or to have the case dismissed. More info: http://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/victory-for-tony-aldf-update-on-today%e2%80%99s-hearing-courtesy-of-mary-haik/

UPDATE: On August 15, lawyers for ALDF will be in court in Baton Rouge to defend against Michael 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.

UPDATE: July 18 2011: The hearing scheduled for July 22, 2011 has been postponed. More information will be posted when available.

UPDATE: June 28 2011: A hearing is now scheduled for July 22. Please continue to support Tony by signing his petitions and voicing your concern for him. Petition links and information on actions you can take for Tony: Your Continued Support For Tony Is Needed!! Thank you.

UPDATE: June 14, 2011: The hearing scheduled for June 14 has been postponed to a later date yet to be determined. The hearing was continued to provide the Department an opportunity to conduct discovery, an essential stage of the litigation process.

UPDATE: June 3, 2011: Next Steps in ALDF’s Fight to Free Tony the Truck Stop Tiger http://www.aldf.org/article.php?id=1723 A new hearing on the motion for a mandatory injunction has been set for June 14.

UPDATE: May 16, 2011 From ALDF: Answers to Your Questions About ALDF’s Win for Tony the Tiger http://aldf.org/article.php?id=1711 Please also see this post on how you can continue to support Tony: http://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/2011/05/26/important-roar-on-for-tony/

UPDATE: Victory For Tony!!! On May 6, 2011 Judge R. Michael Caldwell grants a permanent injunction which blocks The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries from issuing a new permit to Tony’s owner Michael Sandlin. More information: http://www.aldf.org/article.php?id=1700

UPDATE: On May 5, 2011 ALDF goes to court for Tony . More info: http://aldf.org/article.php?id=1699

UPDATE: On April 11, 2011 The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit against The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and its Secretary Robert Barham. The lawsuit argues that the permit issued by the LDWF which allows Tony to be kept on display at the truck stop violates state and local laws. Read more at: www.aldf.org/tony. There are two ALDf sponsred petitions for Tony; please sign and share the links: http://tinyurl.com/tonyaldfpetition and http://www.change.org/petitions/speak-out-for-tony-the-truck-stop-tiger

UPDATE: On December 14, 2010 The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries renewed their permit to Tony’s owner, Michael Sandlin allowing him to keep and display Tony at the truck stop. http://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/2010/12/17/state-truck-stop-can-continue-live-tiger-exhibit/ The permit renewal by no means discourages us to continue advocating for Tony and for the home and life he deserves at an accredited big cat sanctuary. Please see this link: http://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/take-action/ for an updated list of ways you can continue being a voice for Tony. Thanks to all of Tony’s friends for you support and dedication to him – don’t ever give up the fight for this handsome tiger’s freedom.

Tony’s Story

Tony is an 11-year old Siberian/Bengal tiger used as a roadside attraction at Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete Louisiana. Tony is an example of the serious problem of privately owned tigers in the United States whose numbers exceed tigers left in the wild. Tony’s owner, Michael Sandlin, has bought, sold, bred, and exhibited tigers for over 20 years. In 2003, because of violations and fines, Mr. Sandlin and the USDA made an agreement where 3 of the 4 tigers he owned, Toby, Khan and Rainbow, were sent to Tiger Haven in Kingston TN. The USDA reduced the fines and allowed Mr. Sandlin to keep one tiger, Tony.

http://www.lsureveille.com/news/tigers-find-new-home-after-suffering-neglect-1.1196294#5

The Louisiana legislature passed Act 715 in 2006 which prohibited the ownership and sale of large exotic cats, including tigers in Louisiana.

http://www.legis.state.la.us/billdata/byinst.asp?sessionid=06RS&billid=HB795&doctype=ALL

Those individuals who legally owned big cats as of August 15, 2006 were grandfathered in under this act. These owners would need to apply for an annual permit from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and adhere to additional restrictions and stipulations.

http://www.bornfreeusa.org/b4a2_exotic_animals_state.php?s=la

On July 20, 2007 The Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries wrote to Michael Sandlin informing him of the new state rules. He was given an application to fill out and submit and was told Tony would be grandfathered in if the permit was issued.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries wrote Michael Sandlin on October 22, 2008 advising him that his application had been placed on hold based upon their discovery of the 1993 Iberville ban. Part of their new rules (LAC 76: V. 115. H.13) require that the facility be in compliance with all local ordinances. It was discovered that the 1993 Iberville Parish ordinance prohibited ownership and display of exotic animals such as tigers, but the ordinance was never enforced.

Original and Amended Ordinance: http://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/revised-ordinance/

Because he was not in compliance with the 1993 Iberville ordinance ban on displaying wild animals, Mr. Sandlin was issued a citation form the LDW&F on November 17, 2008 and given 30 days to find a home for Tony outside the state of Louisiana. Mr. Sandlin was given until December 16, 2008 to relocate Tony.

Big Cat Rescue, a non-profit educational accredited big cat sanctuary in Tampa Florida wrote to Mr. Sandlin on November 22, 2008 and offered to take Tony and provide a permanent home for him at no cost to Mr. Sandlin. Big Cat Rescue’s offer went unanswered and they contacted Maria Davidson, Large Carnivore Project Manager at the LDW&F and offered their assistance to seize Tony.

Mr. Sandlin filed a petition for a temporary restraining order on December 15, 2008 against the LDW&F to stop them from seizing Tony. Judge J. Robin Free signed the order on December 16, 2008.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,467398,00.html

http://savethetigers62.blogspot.com/2008/12/judge-issues-order-in-tiger-case.html

December 16, 2008 Iberville Parish Council Meeting:

The issue of what to do with the tiger was not on the council’s agenda, but members agreed to let one representative from each delegation have three minutes to state their cases.

http://savethetigers62.blogspot.com/2008/12/tigers-fate-discussion-gets-unruly-in.html

December 22, 2008

A court hearing that had been set for Dec. 29 was postponed to allow the council time to consider amending a 1993 parish ordinance that bars private individuals from exhibiting dangerous, wild animals such as tigers

http://bigcatrescue.org/2008/hearing-delayed-on-truck-stop-tiger/

February 17, 2009 Iberville Parish Council Meeting

The council voted 11-1 to allow Tiger Truck Stop owner Michael Sandlin, to keep Tony — a decision that directly opposes parish ordinances restricting private ownership of exotic and dangerous animals.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,495805,00.html

February 28, 2009

Iberville Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso Jr. vetoed a parish ordinance the council approved on February 17, 2009 to allow a Mr. Sandlin to continue keeping a tiger at his place of business. In his veto message, Ourso wrote that the ordinance the council passed by a vote of 11-1 was deficient because it failed to provide “for permitting conditions to ensure the safety of the general public and the health and welfare of the tiger.”

http://savethetigers62.blogspot.com/2009/02/parish-leader-vetoes-bill-to-allow.html

March 17, 2009 Iberville Parish Council Meeting

The Iberville Parish Council voted Tuesday (March 17) to allow Tony the Tiger to stay at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, but only if an upgrade of his habitat will be made.

http://www.postsouth.com/archive/x108134875/Parish-Council-outlines-conditions-for-truck-stop-to-keep-tiger

Amended Ordinance: http://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/revised-ordinance/

Mr. Sandlin then had to obtain a permit from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. A statement from the LDW&F large carnivore manager Maria Davidson read: ”It is the Department’s position that private possession of tigers poses a significant hazard to public safety and is detrimental to the health of the animal. Prolonged confinement is by its nature stressful to tigers and proper long-term care by experienced persons is essential to the health of the animal.”

http://www.examiner.com/x-16570-New-Orleans-Pet-Rescue-Scene-Examiner~y2009m8d16-Followup-on-Tony-the-Tiger-in-Grosse-Tete

Contrary to this statement, on December 14, 2009, the LDW&F granted the permit to Mr. Sandlin which allows him to keep Tony on display 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at the truck stop.

http://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/ldwf-grants-permit-to-tiger-truck-stop-12-29-2009/

In 2010, major organizations supported Tony: a WSPA sponsored petition gathered over 40,000 signatures; on November 22, 2010 , The Animal Legal Defense Fund petitioned the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries objecting to the permit renewal. Included in the petition were expert statements testifying to the detrimental effects physically and mentally to Tony by keeping him at the truck stop. Legal issues, such as Tony being illegally owned per the 1993 Iberville Parish ordinance, were addressed as well. The World Wildlife’s Fund’s report Tigers Among US included Tony in their interactive map, change.org pushed Tony’s petition and also showcased his story and Big Cat Rescue of Tampa Florida persistently advocated for Tony and his relocation to an accredited big cat sanctuary. Carole Baskin, CEO & Founder of BCR, spoke on behalf of Tony on ”Issues With Jane Velez-Mitchell” and BCR has continually networked Tony’s story, produced videos of Tony, and issued an action alert for Tony’s supporters to sign which reached key decision makers regarding the permit renewal. BCR’s offer of a permanent home for Tony at their sanctuary was refused by Tony’s owner Michael Sandlin. Despite people worldwide objecting to the permit renewal and the support of the aforementioned organizations, The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries renewed their permit on December 14, 2010, allowing Mr. Sandlin to keep and display Tony.

July 2010 marked Tony’s tenth year of life as well as ten years at the truck stop. A captive tiger’s lifespan with the proper medical care, diet, habitat and enrichment is 15 to 20 years. Tony lives amid the noise and fumes of car and trucks continually, and his primary dwelling is a concrete and steel enclosure. He has no real opportunity to run, swim and receives little enrichment. His health, safety, welfare and quality of life are of great concern to many people all over the world. Accredited big cat sanctuaries stand ready to provide a permanent home for Tony. The Free Tony The Tiger Campaign is committed to relocating Tony to such a sanctuary so he may live the rest of his years in peace and with the care and respect this magnificent cat deserves.

Find a way…

In ™FREE TONY THE TIGER CAMPAIGN on 26/01/2012 at 8:24 PM

Animal Legal Defense Fund’s page for Tony

In "animal cruelty on display", "corruption", "free tony the tiger", "grosse tete", "Iberville parish", "michael sandlin", "tiger truck stop", ™FREE TONY THE TIGER CAMPAIGN, louisiana, Tony The Truck Stop Tiger on 23/01/2012 at 8:48 PM

Animal Legal Defense Fund’s page for Tony:

http://www.aldf.org/tony

POEM: Life’s A Battle

In ™FREE TONY THE TIGER CAMPAIGN on 23/01/2012 at 8:32 PM

EXPLORE . ADVENTURE . DISCOVER .

*** I was inspired to write this short poem because for me life is a continuous battle consisted of many trials and tribulations. But despite all of these, we have to remain strong and persevere because in the end we always come out of any adversities as a better and much stronger individual.

The background I used for this poem is the photo I took of my sister when she was visiting SoCal in the winter of 2011 🙂


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Tony’s Tale: Tony The Truck Stop Tiger

In "animal cruelty on display", "corruption", "free tony the tiger", "grosse tete", "Iberville parish", "michael sandlin", "tiger truck stop", ™FREE TONY THE TIGER CAMPAIGN, louisiana, Tony The Truck Stop Tiger on 23/01/2012 at 12:00 AM

TONY THE TIGER!!!

In "animal cruelty on display", "corruption", "free tony the tiger", "grosse tete", "Iberville parish", "michael sandlin", "tiger truck stop", ™FREE TONY THE TIGER CAMPAIGN, louisiana, Tony The Truck Stop Tiger on 21/01/2012 at 7:52 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=UciLmnUmsu0

 

THE BATTLE IS REAL…ITS STILL A CAGE AT A TRUCK STOP

In "animal cruelty on display", "corruption", "free tony the tiger", "grosse tete", "Iberville parish", "michael sandlin", "tiger truck stop", ™FREE TONY THE TIGER CAMPAIGN, louisiana, Tony The Truck Stop Tiger on 17/01/2012 at 6:16 AM

THE BATTLE IS REAL…ITS STILL A CAGE AT A TRUCK STOP

by Roar for Tony the Tiger~ Legal Battle on Friday, 30 December 2011 at 08:38

As another New Year approaches, and we have gained many new Tony supporters and have faced much new opposition from all the Private Owners of exotic animals, due to the new arrival of G. W. Exotics in Oklahoma trying to get Tony…and the new attention on this long ongoing case……we wanted to post a photo reminder as to why this battle was waged years ago and express our view on private ownership.

This photo of Tony was Taken in 2010, his cage had zero enrichment. zero. He was found to be underfed and underweight by the USDA on January 11, 2011, not so long ago, now was it. Mr. Sandlin was warned by the USDA to increase Tony’s diet. So those of us that have been here fighting for Tony to be sent to an accredited Sanctuary will never forget the photos, the sad videos on youtube from years before, the time when no one cared enough to help Tony. Regardless of your views on Private Ownership if a Tiger looked like Tony did last year, even private owners should have been outraged.

WHERE THE HECK WHERE ALL OF THE PRIVATE OWNERS BEFORE THE SPOTLIGHT TURNED ON?

DONT GET US WRONG HERE, WE APPRECIATE YOUR NEW FOUND EFFORTS THE LAST SIX MONTHS ~ TRYING TO MAKE TONY’S LIFE IN CAPTIVITY AS WONDERFUL AS IT CAN POSSIBLY BE MR SANDLIN…….BUT ITS STILL A CAGE AT A TRUCK STOP. I CHALLENGE ANYONE TO SIT THERE FOR 11 YEARS IN THAT CAGE WITH THE HUM OF A DIESEL ENGINE IN YOUR EAR FOR 24/7. HE STILL HAS NO POOL TO DIVE INTO AND SWIM, HES AFRAID OF THAT HORSE TROUGH….AND ITS STILL A TRUCK STOP. WE WONT SUPPORT TONY BEING THERE, SORRY. DAILY TAUNTING BY TOURISTS IS NO LIFE FOR A TIGER….

ONE FACT IS THIS AND WE WONT FORGET IT: TONY DID NOT HAVE ANYTHING UNTIL THE THREAT OF LOSING HIM ARRIVED AND the PRIVATE OWNERS OF EXOTICS BEFRIENDED MR. SANDLIN, AND HELPED HIM BY IMPROVING ON TONY’S DIET, ADDED IN A FEW BELLS AND WHISTLES TO THE CAGE AND NOW THEY EXPECT US TO WALK AWAY….AND JUMP ON THE BAND WAGON THAT ITS YOUR RIGHTS AS A U.S. CITIZEN TO OWN AN EXOTIC PET.

UNFORTUNATELY THE LAWS ALLOW IT, AND THE LAWS NEED UPGRADING….AS NOT EVERY PRIVATE OWNER IS PLAYING BY THE RULES AND TREATING THEIR EXOTIC PROPERLY, WHO WE KIDDING HERE.

THERE ARE MANY OF YOU AND MANY OF US. THE BATTLE IS REAL. THE PROBLEM IN THIS COUNTRY IS REAL. LET THE WAR WAGE ON, UNTIL ALL ANIMALS ARE FREE FROM HARM AND THE LAWS ARE CHANGED TO PROTECT THE VOICELESS, THOSE THAT RIGHT NOW ARE UNFORTUNATELY HIDDEN IN BACK YARDS, IN SMALL CAGES, ABUSED, NEGLECTED WITH NO SHELTER, NO FOOD, THE ONES WE CAN’T SEE

AND IF THE LAWS REMAIN IN PLACE SO YOU ARE ABLE TO “OWN” AN EXOTIC, MAY YOU FIND IT IN YOUR HEART TO TREAT THEM WITH THE PROPER CARE, PROVIDE PROPER ENRICHMENTS AND SHELTER…AND GIVE THEM THE BEST LIFE POSSIBLE FOR THEM IN CAPTIVITY, AND IF YOU CAN’T DO THAT….WE WILL FIND YOU AND BE THEIR VOICE.

MR SANDLIN MAY YOU HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR AND FIND IT IN YOUR HEART TO DO WHATS ALWAYS RIGHT FOR TONY.