Tony, a Siberian-Bengal tiger, has lived his thirteen years as a roadside attraction at a truck stop in Louisiana. In two court hearings, May 6th, 2011 and November 2nd, 2011, Judge Caldwell agreed with The Animal Legal Defense Fund (representing Tony) and their argument that the permit that allows his owner to keep Tony was unlawfully issued by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. On May 6th, 2011 Judge Caldwell granted a permanent injunction blocking LDWF from issuing a new permit to Tony’s owner, and on November 2, 2011 he again prohibited the LDWF from issuing any new permits to the truck stop and ordered the current permit revoked.
Despite these two rulings in Tony's favor, he remains at the truck stop due to appeals and yet another lawsuit filed by his owner, most recently on January 2nd, 2012. http://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/another-suit-filed-in-grosse-tete-tiger-case/
There have been recent reports about Tony's possible move to an exotic animal park if his owner is forced to give him up. This ”park” is under investigation by the USDA for the deaths of 23 tiger cubs. http://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/2011/12/21/oklahoma-park-probed-in-tiger-cub-deaths/ This, as well as the conditions and practices of this “park” (which include exploiting tiger cubs in hands-on exhibits and photo ops) is of great concern to Tony's supporters. Tony belongs at a true sanctuary, not another “roadside zoo.” See HSUS investigation here: http://www.humanesociety.org/news/press_releases/2012/05/ok_exotics_investigation.html
and recent incident here: http://www.fox23.com/news/local/story/Zoo-worker-attacked-by-tiger-in-OK/dWwlhtpYrE-5-O2RDUaLeg.cspx
Please sign this petition asking the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to ensure that Tony is relocated to a reputable humane big cat sanctuary that can provide the home, care and life he needs - and has always deserved.
April 25, 2013: The Louisiana Court of Appeal upheld a lower court ruling in ALDF’s case against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for unlawfully issuing Michael Sandlin a permit to keep and exhibit Tony. The Court of Appeals agreed with Judge Caldwell, holding that Sandlin is ineligible for a permit to keep Tony. With pro bono assistance from Baker Donelson, ALDF will continue to fight on behalf of Tony and the individual plaintiffs involved. http://aldf.org/article.php?id=2438
July 2, 2013: Appeal filed by Mr. Sandlin's lawyers to Louisiana Supreme Court. Senior attorney Matthew Liebman said the Animal Legal Defense Fund will be filing its opposition to Morris’ request. “The application is entirely without merit, yet another attempt by Mr. Sandlin to delay the inevitable and prolong Tony’s inhumane captivity,” he wrote in an email. http://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/2013/07/05/truck-stop-tiger-case-headed-to-louisiana-supreme-court/
July 17, 2013: The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a brief asking the Louisiana Supreme Court to let stand two lower court rulings that the owner of Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete cannot have a license to keep a tiger. http://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/aldf-asks-louisiana-high-court-not-to-hear-tiger-case/
October 7, 2013: On October 4th, 2013, the Louisiana Supreme Court denied a petition to review the decision of the Court of Appeal in the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund’s (ALDF) ongoing case to protect Tony, the Siberian-Bengal tiger confined at Grosse Tete, Louisiana’s Tiger Truck Stop by Michael Sandlin. Read more: http://aldf.org/press-room/press-releases/louisiana-supreme-court-allows-victory-for-tiger-to-stand/
December 9, 2013: LDWF and ALDF each filed exceptions to Sandlin’s case, seeking to have the lawsuit dismissed, in a hearing on Monday, December 09, 2013. No other information is available at this time. http://aldf.org/cases-campaigns/features/tony-the-truck-stop-tiger/