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Ever since his birth in July of 2000, Tony, a Bengal-Siberian mix tiger, has spent every day and night confined to a small, barren enclosure at a truck stop in Grosse Tete, La. Here, he has been subjected to a continuous onslaught of car exhaust and loud noises for over a decade, rarely receiving the proper care or enrichment he so desperately needs.

New Legislation May Prevent Tony the Tiger from Escaping His 14-Year Truck Stop Captivity Free Tony the Tiger / Facebook
 

Despite these clearly inappropriate conditions, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has refused to uphold a 2006 state law (Act 715) that prohibits the sale and ownership of big exotic cats and even allowed any owner who kept big cats prior to August 15, 2006 to continue doing so as long as they file for an annual permit with the department.

Tony’s owner, Michael Sandlin, was one of the big cat owners “grandfathered” in under the law. However, upon seeing Tony’s continued plight, concerned citizens and nonprofits Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and Big Cat Rescue have fought tirelessly over the years to free Tony from his life of misery.

New Legislation May Prevent Tony the Tiger from Escaping His 14-Year Truck Stop Captivity Free Tony the Tiger / Facebook
 

Two major victories were won for Tony in 2013 when the Louisiana Court of Appeal “held that Sandlin and the Tiger Truck Shop were ineligible for a big cat permit and could no longer keep Tony” and when the Louisiana Supreme Court later “rejected Sandlin’s petition and let [the Court of Appeal] decision stand,” the ALDF reports.

Unfortunately, the Louisiana legislature (or at least a selection of its members) does not seem to care much for Tony’s plight and that of other big cats kept as captive pets (when it’s so clear that big cats should never be pets).

New Legislation May Prevent Tony the Tiger from Escaping His 14-Year Truck Stop Captivity Free Tony the Tiger / Facebook
 

Recently, the Louisiana Senate Committee on Natural Resources quickly passed Senate Bill 250, which undermines the 2006 state law by exempting “certain persons from the requirements of the big exotic cats rules.”

“The bill is an attempt to retroactively remove Tony’s protection under the 2006 law, and allow Michael Sandlin to retain possession of Tony,” the ALDF states.

We cannot let another round-about policy keep Tony confined any longer. It’s time he was freed from his miserable life at the Tiger Truck Stop and provided with a proper home at a real wildlife sanctuary that would attend to his every need, instead of using him to turn a profit like Sandlin has for years. Do your part to help Tony by taking action using the steps below — we must be his voice!

Take Action

Image Source: Free Tony the Tiger / Facebook

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20 comments on “Tony the Tiger May Never Escape His Truck Stop Captivity. Here’s How You Can Help”

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TigerChampion1
3 Years Ago

Where is my comment? Just because it doesn\'t agree with yours is no reason to delete it. That just shows how shallow and narrow minded you all are!


Reply
TigerChampion1
3 Years Ago

Leave Tony alone!! What makes you think he will be "FREE" at some small sanctuary that will confine him in a space less than half the size he has now, and will not give him the one on one attention he gets from his beloved person. Animals removed from the home that they have known all their lives frequently die from the stress of moving to an unfamiliar place and from separation anxiety. He\'s 13 years old and quite happy where he is. LEAVE HIM ALONE!!


Reply
Free Tony The Tiger
25 Apr 2014

You\'re misinformed. Two GFAS accredited sanctuaries have offered homes for Tony; one such sanctuary can provide a habitat of 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. Impressive compared to Tony\'s prison-like enclosure at the truck stop. 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. Accredited reputable sanctuaries that rescue big cats are extremely knowledgeable and give the cats all the time and care needed to adjust to their new homes. The two aforementioned sanctuaries are exemplary examples of "true" sanctuaries, a far cry from the horrific facility that Mr. Sandlin would choose for Tony: http://www.humanesociety.org/news/press_releases/2012/05/ok_exotics_investigation.html

Tony Janisch
3 Years Ago

Signed! Help save a fellow tiger.


Reply
Donna Aylesworth Furano
3 Years Ago

I signed,and shared


Reply
Eva Holmes
3 Years Ago

Please free Tony asap needs his freedom


Reply
Janelle Ikswolahicm
3 Years Ago

signed and shared and disgusted!!!


Reply
Cynthia Eaton Morneau
3 Years Ago

Signed!


Reply
Marilyn Lee
3 Years Ago

Poor baby. Signed!


Reply
Patrice Lenhoff Anita
3 Years Ago

Signed...


Reply
Yvonne Robertson
3 Years Ago

This should be against the law! How could this be?


Reply
Free Tony The Tiger
25 Apr 2014

It IS against the law. Tony is being kept at the truck stop in violation of both state and local law. Read more from the Animal Legal Defense Fund here: http://aldf.org/cases-campaigns/features/tony-the-truck-stop-tiger/



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