LDWF: Enforce Louisiana State Law & Ensure Tony The Tiger Is Released To A Reputable Sanctuary
  • Petitioning Mr. Fred Kimmel

This petition will be delivered to:

Mr. Fred Kimmel
Ms. Maria Davidson
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Secretary, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Secretary Robert J.Barham

LDWF: Enforce Louisiana State Law & Ensure Tony The Tiger Is Released To A Reputable Sanctuary

    1. Tony's Friends
    2. Petition by

      Tony's Friends

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.

UPDATES:

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/

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Louisiana Supreme Court Allows Victory for Tiger to Stand

      Tony's Friends
      Petition Organizer

      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/

      Louisiana Supreme Court Allows Victory for Tiger to Stand

      Last Friday, 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.

    2. ALDF Asks Louisiana High Court Not to Hear Tiger Case

      Tony's Friends
      Petition Organizer

      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/

    3. Owner Taking Tony The Tiger Case To Lousiana Supreme Court

      Tony's Friends
      Petition Organizer

      July 2, 2013: Mr. Sandlin's lawyers filed an appeal to the Louisiana Supreme Court. ALDF 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/

      Free Tony The Tiger

      NOTE: 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. BY JOE GYAN JR.

    4. Reached 30,000 signatures
    5. Victory in ALDF's Tony the Tiger Case!

      Tony's Friends
      Petition Organizer

      Yesterday, April 25th, 2013, the Louisiana Court of Appeal issued its long-awaited opinion in Animal Legal Defense Fund v. State of Louisiana, holding that Michael Sandlin is ineligible for a permit to confine Tony the Tiger in a cage at the Tiger Truck Stop. Read more at: http://aldf.org/article.php?id=2438

    6. Reached 25,000 signatures
    7. Tony in the NY Times!

      Tony's Friends
      Petition Organizer

      Please visit: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/28/us/truck-stop-tiger-in-louisiana-stirs-legal-battle.html to read the article about Tony featured in the NY Times on March 27 2013.

      Truck Stop Tiger in Louisiana Stirs Legal Battle

      GROSSE TETE, La. - The American truck stop is a promise of certain reliables: a shower, a warm meal, some small talk at the counter, a 24/7 source of diesel, beef jerky and cigarettes. The truck stop here just west of Baton Rouge offers all those things, but as most southern Louisianians know, it has another less standard feature: a 550-pound Bengal-Siberian tiger.

    8. From The Animal Legal Defense Fund 2.19.2013

      Tony's Friends
      Petition Organizer

      Update: Attorneys for ALDF were in court on the morning of February 19, 2013 in Baton Rouge to defend our most recent victory, in which a district court judge ordered the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to revoke the permit that allows Michael Sandlin to hold Tony the Tiger in captivity. ALDF lawyers told the three-judge panel of the Court of Appeal that the Department should never have issued a captive wildlife permit to Michael Sandlin, the owner of the Tiger Truck Stop. The judges listened attentively to arguments from all sides, and are expected to issue their opinion in Spring of 2013. We will update our supporters as soon as we know their decision. http://aldf.org/article.php?id=2233

    9. From The Animal Legal Defense Fund 1.24.2013

      Tony's Friends
      Petition Organizer

      On Tuesday, February 19, 2013 the courts will hear ALDF’s oral arguments in the appeal to free Tony.

    10. From The Animal Legal Defense Fund 11.29.2012

      Tony's Friends
      Petition Organizer

      Please see this link: http://aldf.org/article.php?id=2233 for an overview from The Animal Legal Defense Fund of Tony's case and where it stands as of now 11.29.2012. Thanks to everyone for your positive and dedicated support of Tony. Please continue to share his petition and his story.

    11. Reached 20,000 signatures
    12. Thanks Ian Somerhalder & ISF Family

      Tony's Friends
      Petition Organizer

      Special Thanks to Ian Somerhalder and The ISF (Ian Somerhalder Foundation) Family for their great support of Tony's petition today. Ian <a href="https://twitter.com/iansomerhalder/status/249980086407794688">tweeted the link</a> for Tony's petition and his wonderful friends responded with resounding ROARS!

      Please also visit Ian's ISF website
      <a href="http://www.isfoundation.com /">http://www.isfoundation.com </a> to learn more about his organization. ISF's Mission: “aims to empower, educate and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures.”

      No updates as to the August 6, 2012 hearing but will post when available. Remaining positive for Tony and ROARING Our Way To 20K!

    13. Reached 17,500 signatures
    14. Awaiting August 6th Hearing Decision...

      Tony's Friends
      Petition Organizer

      We are still awaiting a decision on the August 6, 2012 hearing. This hearing was Mr. Sandlin’s lawsuit against the State; the court also heard ALDF’s and the State’s exceptions which requested Mr. Sandlin’s case be dismissed. Thanks to everyone who has signed Tony's petition; please continue to share it.

      More links to share for Tony:

      <a href="http://www.aldf.org/tony">www.aldf.org/tony</a>

      <a href="http://aldf.org/article.php?id=2053#">http://aldf.org/article.php?id=2053#</a>

      <a href="http://www.facebook.com/FreeTonyTheTiger">http://www.facebook.com/FreeTonyTheTiger</a>

      <a href="http://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/">http://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/</a>

      <a href="http://twitter.com/FreeTonyTiger">http://twitter.com/#!/FreeTonyTiger</a>

      <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/TonyTiger2000">http://twitter.com/#!/TonyTiger2000</a>

      <a href="http://www.youtube.com/user/FreeTonyTheTiger">http://www.youtube.com/user/FreeTonyTheTiger</a>

    15. Update From The Animal Legal Defense Fund 6.27.2012

      Tony's Friends
      Petition Organizer

      There is a hearing set for August 6 in Sandlin’s lawsuit against the State; the court will hear ALDF’s and the State’s exceptions, which seek to have Sandlin’s case dismissed. If we succeed, Sandlin may appeal. If we lose, the case will proceed to the preliminary injunction stage.

      Sandlin’s appeal of our original law suit finally got a briefing schedule, so we’re expecting Sandlin’s opening brief in early July, with our response due later in July. No oral argument date has been set yet.

    16. Making Sense of the Current Status of the Tony the Tiger Cases

      Tony's Friends
      Petition Organizer

      We at the Animal Legal Defense Fund are committed to doing everything within our power to make sure that Tony finds his way to a reputable, accredited sanctuary where he can live out the rest of his life in an environment that caters to his needs rather than one that exploits him as a profitable spectacle.

      To that end, our litigation team has been busy making sure that Louisiana’s big cat ban is defended and enforced. We are currently involved in three separate lawsuits concerning Tony, and with all the various developments, we thought it was time for a big picture overview on where things stand.

      The first lawsuit is the one ALDF filed last April to have Michael Sandlin’s tiger permit revoked. In November, Judge Michael Caldwell ruled in our favor, holding that Mr. Sandlin was ineligible for a permit under the state regulations. Judge Caldwell ordered the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to revoke Sandlin’s permit and not issue any new permits.

      More at the link below.

    17. More from The Animal Legal Defense Fund on the May 7, 2012 Hearing

      Tony's Friends
      Petition Organizer

      From The Animal Legal Defense Fund:

      May 7, 2012: In today’s hearing in Baton Rouge, District Judge Janice Clark agreed that the Animal Legal Defense Fund and two Louisiana residents can be parties to the lawsuit filed by Michael Sandlin, owner of Grosse Tete’s Tiger Truck Stop, against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). ALDF and the other interveners seek to defend the state’s law banning private ownership of big cats. Thanks to today’s ruling, ALDF will now have a right to participate in all steps of the litigation as it moves forward.

      In their case, Sandlin and the Tiger Truck Stop are suing the state, arguing that Louisiana’s ban on private ownership of big cats like Tony is unconstitutional—flying in the face of the current national sentiment that dangerous exotic animals should be more strictly regulated. Read more at: http://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/2012/05/09/more-from-the-animal-legal-defense-fund-on-the-may-7-2012-hearing/

    18. Via The Animal Legal Defense Fund: Victory In Today’s Hearing!

      Tony's Friends
      Petition Organizer

      May 7, 2012: Good news! In today’s hearing in Baton Rouge, District Judge Janice Clark agreed that the Animal Legal Defense Fund and two Louisiana residents can be parties to the lawsuit filed by Michael Sandlin, owner of Grosse Tete’s Tiger Truck Stop, against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. ALDF and the other interveners seek to defend the state’s law banning private ownership of big cats. Thanks to today’s ruling, ALDF will now have a right to participate in all steps of the litigation as it moves forward.

    19. Judge rules ALDF’s plaintiffs lack standing

      Tony's Friends
      Petition Organizer

      May 3, 2012: In today’s hearing in Baton Rouge, the judge ruled ALDF’s plaintiffs lacked standing in our lawsuit to force the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to do its job of enforcing Louisiana’s big cat ban now that the Tiger Truck Stop and Michael Sandlin are keeping Tony the tiger without a permit, in open violation of state law. The judge also ruled that department has discretion whether or not to enforce Louisiana’s law banning private ownership of big cats at this time.

      Over 50,000 of Tony's supporter have signed an ALDF petition to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries over the past year, urging them to do their job—we're all getting tired of waiting for the department to do the job it's supposed to do and protect the best interests of both Tony and the public.

      See more from The Animal Legal Defense Fund at the link below.

    20. ALDF Back In Court For Tony May 3rd & 7th

      Tony's Friends
      Petition Organizer

      Two hearings are scheduled for the coming week in Tony's ongoing case.

      On May 3, the court will consider the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s most recent lawsuit against the LDWF. The lawsuit, filed on April 5, seeks to force LDWF to do its job of enforcing Louisiana’s big cat ban now that the Tiger Truck Stop and Michael Sandlin are keeping Tony without a permit, in open violation of state law.

      On May 7, the court will hear ALDF’s petition to intervene in the lawsuit filed by the Tiger Truck Stop and its owner Michael Sandlin against the state of Louisiana. Their case argues that Louisiana’s ban on private ownership of big cats like Tony is unconstitutional—flying in the face of the current national sentiment that dangerous exotic animals should be more strictly regulated. ALDF’s petition in intervention supports Louisiana’s power to spower to safeguard public safety and animal welfare through such legislative measures. An ALDF representative will be testifying at the hearing.

    21. Reached 15,000 signatures
    22. ALDF Back in Court Demanding State Take Action on Tony the Truck Stop Tiger

      Tony's Friends
      Petition Organizer

      April 5, 2012: Baton Rouge, La. – This morning, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed a lawsuit to force the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to do its job of enforcing Louisiana’s big cat ban in the case of Tony, Grosse Tete’s “truck stop tiger.” Michael Sandlin's permit to keep Tony, an eleven-year-old Siberian-Bengal tiger, expired in December, yet he has continued to keep Tony confined at the Tiger Truck Stop, in open violation of state law. ALDF's lawsuit would compel the Department to take steps to enforce the law and report Sandlin's illegal possession of Tony to local law enforcement for prosecution. In addition, ALDF, along with two Louisiana residents, today filed a petition to intervene in Sandlin’s current lawsuit against the state; the interveners seek to defend the state’s law banning private ownership of big cats.

      Read More At: http://www.aldf.org/article.php?id=2023

    23. Reached 12,500 signatures
    24. Update For Tony Via Animal Legal Defense Fund

      Tony's Friends
      Petition Organizer

      January 30, 2012: Last Monday, Judge Caldwell denied a motion brought by Michael Sandlin and the Tiger Truck Stop (TTS) that sought to suspend Judge Caldwell’s order while Sandlin and TTS appealed. In other words, Tony would have stayed put at the truck stop until after the appeal ran its course, which could take months. Instead, Judge Caldwell’s order instructing the Department to revoke the permit will go into effect right away. Sadly, this does not necessarily mean Tony is leaving the truck stop soon. Sandlin has filed his own lawsuit against the Department, which has been temporarily restrained from taking any action to remove Tony. Our attorneys are doing everything they can to resolve these conflicting orders to make sure Tony makes his way to a humane, accredited sanctuary as soon as possible.

    25. Reached 4,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • CONNIE SUTTON ODESSA, TX
      • about 6 hours ago

      This is cruelty extreme....please help free this beautiful animal to a safe place for the last of his life.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Patricia Sparhawk PFAFFTOWN, NC
      • about 6 hours ago

      This is horrible. No animal should be kept in a small cage to live out it's life.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Nicola Diston LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 8 hours ago

      No animal belongs in a cage!

      Free this majestic tiger! It's just WRONG!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Christine Weiss TRABUCO CANYON, CA
      • about 8 hours ago

      Keeping this beautiful majestic creature in a cage is INHUMANE and WRONG on every level!!!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • mark jones WOLVERHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 8 hours ago

      this tiger deserves its freedom

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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