ROAR For Tony & Captive Big Cats on World Animal Day!
Please join us as we raise awareness and support for Tony, a 14 year old tiger used as a roadside attraction at a truck stop in Louisiana, USA -and captive big cats in the United States.
The ongoing saga of Tony is known globally. He has brought the serious issue of privately owned tigers (and big cats) in the United States to people all over the world.
Please TAKE ACTION for Tony and big cats at the links below.
A brief synopsis of Tony’s Story:
In 2006, a bill was unanimously passed by the Louisiana Legislature banning private ownership of big cats. This law, Act 715, not only protects the welfare of big cats but ensures public safety. Michael Sandlin, owner of Tiger Truck Stop, was unlawfully “grandfathered” in though he never legally owned Tony because of a local Iberville Parish ordinance banning private possession and exhibition of tigers.
In 2010, the Animal Legal Defense Fund sued the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) for unlawfully issuing Mr. Sandlin a permit to keep and exhibit Tony.
In 2011 Judge Caldwell granted a permanent injunction blocking LDWF from issuing a new permit to him, and ordered the current permit revoked. Mr. Sandlin appealed: The Louisiana Court of Appeal upheld the lower court’s rulings and the Louisiana Supreme Court denied a petition to review the Louisiana Court of Appeal’s ruling.
After exhausting his appeal options, Mr. Sandlin enlisted his state Senator, Rick Ward, to propose a bill, SB 250, to exempt himself from Louisiana state law banning private ownership of big cats. This bill blatantly subverts Louisiana’s Big Cat Law-which passed unanimously in 2006 and banned private ownership of big cats.
Despite the overwhelming expert testimony and public support against this bill – the special interests of ONE individual, Michael Sandlin, who is in violation of both local and state law – were placed above the law. SB 250 proceeded to sail through the Louisiana Legislature and then was signed into law as Act 697.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund has filed a lawsuit against the state of Louisiana, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Michael Sandlin and Tiger Truck Stop for violating the state constitution. Read more: http://aldf.org/press-room/press-releases/animal-legal-defense-fund-files-lawsuit-against-louisiana-for-violating-state-constitution-with-new-tony-the-truck-stop-tiger-law/
There is no justification whatsoever-legally, ethically or humanely-to make the case for Tony to be kept at the truck stop. Tony has been exploited for 14 years; tigers are not gimmicks, attractions, props or pets. They are magnificent, dangerous big cats who deserve our respect and protection.
Tony represents one of an estimated 5,000 – 10,000 privately owned tigers in the United States whose numbers are greater than tigers left in the wild. Captive tigers can live 15-20 years with quality care. Tony has spent over 14 years on display in the unhealthy and unnatural environment of a truck stop. Three reputable big cat sanctuaries have standing offers to provide Tony with a spacious habitat, expert medical care, proper diet and enrichment.
Tony deserves the opportunity to retire to a peaceful, healthy, natural environment.
(Read more at: http://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/tonys-story/ )
TONY THE TRUCK STOP TIGER
THANK YOU to EVERYONE for your support and dedication to Tony. On Twitter Tony is known as “the captive tiger ambassador” because so many people around the world have come to learn about the problem of captive tigers in the United States from him and his tweets.
We support ALDF’s continued efforts to secure Tony’s release to a reputable big cat sanctuary, three of which have standing offers of a home for him:
Big Cat Rescue in Tampa Florida ~ http://bigcatrescue.org/
The Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone MN ~ http://www.wildcatsanctuary.org/
The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg CO ~ http://www.wildanimalsanctuary.org/
We ask Tony’s friends to remain supportive and positive for Tony and continue to network for him:
Tony’s change.org petition asking the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to enforce the law remains open:
Petitions are a good medium to keep people supportive, involved as well as demonstrate the interest and support Tony has worldwide.
Note: LDWF refused to enforce state law though they had the authority to seize Tony. LDWF’s position statement on privately ownership of tigers:
“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.”
Join-Follow-Share these social networking sites for Tony
MORE WAYS TO HELP TONY:
Follow The Animal Legal Defense Fund on Facebook, Twitter and reference their website for more information on Tony.
If you visit Tony, document your visit with pictures and/or video and please share them. Send us a link via Twitter, on Tony’s Facebook page or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Special Thanks to Animal Legal Defense Fund for their extraordinary representation of Tony and dedication to him. Please visit their site to learn more about them and their tremendous work to help animals through the legal system and support their Animal Bill of Rights http://animalbillofrights.aldf.org/
CAPTIVE U.S. TIGERS
Captive U.S. tigers are used in roadside zoos and attractions, photo ops and exhibitions, entertainment shows and circuses, pseudo-sanctuaries, bred for profit or are owned as “pets.” From IFAW: “Private possession of big cats is a legal patchwork: 30 states ban private possession, 14 states allow possession with a permit, and 6 states have absolutely no restrictions on private possession at all.” ( http://www.ifaw.org/united-states/big-cat-advocates-map )
S 1381 / HR 1998: THE BIG CATS AND PUBLIC SAFETY PROTECTION ACT
One of the most important ways we can help tigers like Tony and other captive big cats in the United States is to support HR 1998 ~ The Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act. This bill would prohibit the private possession and breeding of captive big cats in the United States except at highly-qualified facilities like accredited zoos where they can be properly cared for and safely managed. It would only allow breeding at accredited zoos, along with some research or educational institutions.
United States Residents can take action by asking your Congress Members for their co-sponsorship and support of this bill; visit this link from Big Cat Rescue – Tampa FL:
HR 4525: TEAPA – The Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act
Please also support Animal Defenders International’s campaign Stop Circus Suffering by asking your Representative to co-sponsor and support HR 4525 – TEAPA – The Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act. Animals suffer and are abused horrifically in circuses – this bill would end the use of exotic animals in circuses and traveling shows. Visit this link to learn more:
- Contact Email: email@example.com
- Location: ONLINE EVENT
- Organised by: Free Tony The Tiger