Tony’s J0urney

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.

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.

Tony is a 10 year old Siberian/Bengal tiger used as a roadside
attraction at Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete Louisiana.

Tony is another example of how serious the problem is of private
ownership of tigers in the United States where there are more privately owned
tigers then there are 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.

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

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.

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:

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.”

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.

Amended 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.”

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.

In 2010, major organizations supported Tony:

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,

pushed Tony’s petition and also

showcased his story.

Carole Baskin, CEO & Founder of BCR, spoke

on behalf of Tony on

”Issues With Jane Velez-Mitchell”.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries renewed their permit

on December 14, 2010, allowing 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. 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.

More links for Tony:

Tony On Youtube:

Animal Legal Defense Fund

<Born to Be Wild: Tiger Persecution and Advocacy

Tony The Truck Stop Tiger Playlist

FREE Tony the truckstop tiger!

Sky Williamson /Wild Time Radio /Tony The
Tiger /Animal Rights

Please REMEMBER to Attach the Photos of him


REPTILES ~ Sec. 3-91. Display of wild or exotic animals prohibited.

Thanks for caring and sharing for TONY…..

Please keep sharing this note over and over to help spread the word…..

★´*。.☆¨¯`*​​★。。☆ UNTIL HIS LAST BREATH ★´*。.☆¨¯`*​​★。。☆

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