Court: Grosse Tete Truck Stop Tiger Must Be Moved

Comments Off on Court: Grosse Tete Truck Stop Tiger Must Be Moved

Tony, the 550-pound Siberian-Bengal tiger, cannot continue to be housed in an exhibit at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, a three-judge panel of the state’s 1st Circuit Court of Appeal ruled Thursday in Baton Rouge.

Will Tony Ever Have The Right To Breath Fresh Air??

But an attorney for truck stop owner Michael Sandlin said Tony will not be moved to a new home soon.

We are going to file for a rehearing at the 1st Circuit. If we lose on rehearing, we’ll be filing an appeal with the Louisiana Supreme Court,” said Jennifer Treadway Morris, Sandlin’s attorney.

Members of the 1st Circuit panel were Circuit Judges J.E. “Duke” Welch and Randolph H. Parro, as well as retired Judge William F. Kline Jr., who serves on the appellate bench by special appointment of the state’s Supreme Court.

The 20-page decision written by Welch upheld a November 2011 judgment by 19th Judicial District Judge Michael Caldwell, who ruled a 2006 state law bars the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries from renewing Sandlin’s permit to house Tony at the truck stop exhibit off Interstate 10.

The appellate panel, however, overturned Caldwell’s decision to allow the nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund to intervene in the civil suit on the side of four Louisiana residents who wanted Tony, now 12, sent to an accredited wildlife sanctuary.

Those four residents are Warren Triche Jr., Brandi J. Sutten, Jennifer Torquati and John Kelleher.

Matthew G. Liebman, a California-based attorney for the Animal Legal Defense Fund, said he does not believe the nonprofit organization will appeal the 1st Circuit’s ruling that it should not have intervened in the litigation.

The most important part of the 1st Circuit’s decision was its agreement with Caldwell that state officials cannot renew the permit that allowed Tony to be kept at the truck stop, Liebman said.

“We see this decision as a victory,” Liebman added. “It looks like Tony is finally going to breathe some fresh air.”

Morris, however, noted that Sandlin has a related civil suit pending before 19th Judicial District Court Judge Janice Clark.

Sandlin argues in that suit that a 1993 Iberville Parish ordinance should not be allowed to ban ownership of “wild, exotic or vicious animals for display or for exhibition.”

In his suit, Sandlin adds that he has held a federal permit to keep tigers at the truck stop, just off Interstate 10, since 1988. He argues that a parish ordinance cannot ignore federal rules.

Although the case in Clark’s court remains to be decided, Morris said the 1st Circuit’s decision not to grant standing to the California nonprofit organization in Caldwell’s court is a good sign for Sandlin.

“We beat the Animal Legal Defense Fund” in the first case, Morris said. “That’s a big win.”

News Link:-http://theadvocate.com/home/5811635-125/appellate-court-tiger-must-be

Advertisements

Victory in ALDF’s Tony the Tiger Case!

Comments Off on Victory in ALDF’s Tony the Tiger Case!

Posted by Matthew Liebman, ALDF Staff Attorney on April 26th, 2013

Yesterday 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.

Although the court held that ALDF lacked standing to be a plaintiff in the case, it nevertheless confirmed that our clients—Louisiana residents and taxpayers—do have standing to challenge illegal actions by the government, in this case the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

In ruling on the merits, the court agreed with ALDF’s argument that Michael Sandlin cannot receive a grandfather permit to continue to keep Tony because Sandlin does not meet the legal requirements for such a permit. As the court put it:

The record establishes that on August 15, 2006, Tony was not owned by Michael Sandlin; rather, he was owned by Tiger Truck Stop. Additionally, on August 15, 2006, the ownership and possession of Tony by Tiger Truck Stop and the possession by Michael Sandlin in Iberville Parish was in violation of a local ordinance, and thus, illegal. Although that local ordinance was amended in 2009 retroactive to August 15, 2006, the amendment to the ordinance did not change the fact that on August 15, 2006, neither Tiger Truck Stop nor Michael Sandlin legally possessed or legally owned Tony. Only an individual who legally possessed an exotic cat (such as a tiger) and who could prove legal ownership of that exotic cat is entitled to a permit for that cat. Accordingly, that part of the judgment of the trial court granting a final/permanent injunction against DWF, enjoining it from issuing any new permits to Michael Sandlin and/or Tiger Truck Stop for the tiger (“Tony” microchip #477E201A4C) now located at Tiger Truck Stop in Iberville Parish is affirmed.

The decision marks a significant step towards Tony’s freedom, as the second-highest court in Louisiana has confirmed that the Department erred when it issued Sandlin a permit. Sandlin’s lawyer has said she intends to seek rehearing of the Court of Appeal’s decision, as well as review by the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Sandlin also has his own lawsuit to invalidate the state’s big cat ban. But rest assured ALDF will fight every step of the way to make sure Tony ends up in a reputable sanctuary. We still have a long road ahead, but we’ve cleared a major hurdle and have earned this moment of celebration.

News Link:http://aldf.org/article.php?id=2438

AUG 8, 2012 Two latest Videos – ‘Tony’ The Truck Stop Tiger Grosse Tete, LA

Comments Off on AUG 8, 2012 Two latest Videos – ‘Tony’ The Truck Stop Tiger Grosse Tete, LA

My dear friend & animal warrior, Mary aka cloversweed on You Tube, has kindly shared her most recent videos of Tony. One thing I must point out,  is that Mary points, shoots, uploads…no editing, no fancy frills…just video showing Tony! Mary has no script, no notes, nothing pre-prepared, so listening to her commentary is a must! When she leaves, it’s obviously heartbreaking, as one never knows what stunt Michael Sandlin will pull next. He has said that if he is forced to move Tony, he will send him to Joe Exotic, which is not what’s best for Tony! Tony is at the truck stop without a permit!

We are not saying Tony is abused, it is the environment he lives in that people take exception to! His cage is large but nothing to entertain Tony, no shrubbery to hide in, no tree logs to scratch or climb on, no swimming pool..although Mr Sandlin has quoted ‘he has a pool to swim in’ on several sites & news articles…well you can clearly see that so called pool…it’s a horse trough, Mary has filmed it empty on several occasions! Makes no difference, if it was full of water, never seen any evidence of Tony in it, probably because he wouldn’t fit! Tony has no enrichment, just the constant noise & smell of the truck stop! It is just no place for a lonely tiger, or any other animal, breathing in diesel fumes for 12 years…who knows if it has done any damage to his internal organs!

“The 2 most recent videos of Tony The Truck Stop Tiger, taken by cloversweed on You Tube”

Published on 8 Aug 2012 by 

FREE TONY, THE TRUCK STOP TIGER – Part One
(AUGUST 8, 2012 WED) 
GROSSE TETE, LA
UPDATE # 30 (Part One of Two)

“Part of the video dialogue – Classic Mary!!”

2. 02:40 – Paul, Michael Sandlin’s nephew, approaches and asks me if I am “one of those animal activists”. Well, no, I replied, I am “one of those tourists”. And then Paul begins to tell me, again, (Paul has talked with me before & I have heard this “story” before from Paul about this “woman on the Internet that posts all these LIES about Tony.” I have no idea who that woman is. Surely, it is not me, for my videos tell the story, even without my words, really they do.I am witness & so are you to what transpires during these visits.) I reminded Paul that he & I have talked before & that I visit Tony frequently on my trips to Baton Rouge & I also asked Paul if he would like to stay by my side the entire time.He said that was OK.Paul then begins to spray down Tony’s cage,opens the gate so Tony may exit the cage.THIS IS WHEN WE FIRST SEE TONY @ 06:25.Paul closes the gate, so that Paul may enter the cage & places Tony’s breakfast out.And then Tony re-enters to eat.(This is about 9.45-10.00AM or perhaps even later.But, it was not early morning.This was much later than usual for I did not leave from this morning visit until close to noon.)

Published on 8 Aug 2012 by 

FREE TONY, THE TRUCK STOP TIGER – Part Two
(AUGUST 8, 2012 WED) 
GROSSE TETE, LA
LIVE FOOTAGE, RAW & UNEDITED
UPDATE # 31 (Part Two of Two)

Mary’s You Tube account has all her videos of Tony, along with with all the information about Tony & the courts etc. http://www.youtube.com/user/cloversweed

Read the latest from ALDF:-http://aldf.org/article.php?id=2023

This is a great site:-Making Sense of the Current Status of the Tony the Tiger Cases:-http://aldf.org/article.php?id=2053#

LINKS FOR MORE INFO:
– http://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/ ALWAYS CURRENT
– http://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/links-for-tony/
– http://aldf.org/article.php?id=1675 more info
– http://aldf.org/

Petition – LDWF: Ensure Tony The Tiger Is Released To A Reputable Sanctuary:-http://www.change.org/petitions/ldwf-ensure-tony-the-tiger-is-released-to-a-reputable-sanctuary

A truck stop is no home for a tiger

Comments Off on A truck stop is no home for a tiger

“This is posted as is from an email to me from the ALDF. Please click on any links…”

Tony, a SiberianBengal tigerSTILL paces on the hard concrete surface of his cage. He has spent every day and night of the last eleven years on display at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana – nearly his whole life. It’s no life for a tiger, or any other animal.

That’s why, despite all legal obstacles, the Animal Legal Defense Fund is tireless in our fight to make sure that Tony finds his way to a reputable, accredited sanctuary where he can live out his life in a nurturing environment, rather than one that exploits him as a profitable spectacle. Help us raise $250,000 during our 2012 Annual Fund Drive and join our fight to free Tony!

ALDF is currently involved in three separate lawsuits concerning Tony—a no holds barred effort to free him from the miserable conditions he’s forced to endure day and night. ALDF’s victory last year against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries prevented the Department from renewing the annual permit that allowed Michael Sandlin, owner of Grosse Tete’s Tiger Truck Stop, to display Tony.

However, the Department has refused to seize Tony until Mr. Sandlin’s own lawsuit against the Department has resolved. Once Mr. Sandlin’s case is over, the Department should do its duty by acting quickly to ensure Tony’s removal to a humane sanctuary.

We are optimistic that we will prevail, and the court will uphold Louisiana’s right to protect public safety and animal welfare by prohibiting private possession of majestic animals like Tony.

Your support makes our fight for Tony possible! Join ALDF in fighting for Tony’s freedom — freedom from diesel fumes, harassment, and the unimaginable suffering of life in his lonely cage.

ADI Tony the tiger news:http://aldf.org/article.php?id=1675

 “I have long been fighting for Tony’s release to a more suitable sanctuary, because I don’t think a truck stop is the right environment for a tiger, nor any other animal. Breathing in air suffused with diesel particles for 11 years, can’t be good for the lungs of man nor beast. Tony has never had a full vet check up that we know of, if he has, I wouldn’t mind seeing the proof…so poor Tony may well be suffering in silence !”

“I personally have never suggested the move due to animal abuse; more animal welfare. Tony has lived in a barren cage for 11 years, yet it is only this past year that Mr. Sandlin made slight improvements  to the enclosure. A paint make over & hanging an old tyre are not what I would call requisite improvements. The enclosure may well be a little larger than some captive tigers are forced to live in, but what use is size if it resembles little of  the animals natural habitat, nor have any enrichment to stimulate his mind!”

I do so wish Mr Sandlin would stop referring to the horse trough filled with water, as  ‘Tony’s swimming pool, as I read in an article the other day! It has been documented via video that it has been empty of water on especially hot days. However, it doesn’t really matter, they might as well take it out, Tony has never cooled off in it, tigers of his breed love to be in water. It could be that it is too small for Tony, or he has had a bad experience with it in the past, I bet you can’t find any documented video evidence of Tony either in the horse trough or even dipping a toe in!

“Come on Mr Sandlin, if you really love Tony as you say you do, let him go. Let his last years be lived out at a sanctuary, where he can play among foliage in large grassy acres, jump into a proper pool or lake to cool off like all tigers of his breed love. A Place where he can have something to stimulate his brain, toys to play with, everything that he hasn’t got now! Can you imagine how bored stiff that tiger must be? Nothing to do for 11 years except stare to stare back at the public gazing in. Tony has paid his due’s, I’ll bet he has brought in plenty dollars through either the dinner or the Tony paraphernalia sold within.

Please don’t send Tony to just another cage, where he is gawpt at by the public, he deserves more! I think somewhere like The Wildcat Sanctuary, would be perfect for Tony! Watch the video & see how these abused, abandoned or unwanted cats live…Tony would love it, no smell of diesel, no public shouting at him, banging on the fencing, trying to annoy him…just fresh air, good food, hospital on site,  lots of toys to play with & a decent sized pool to cool off in…Tony will never be free to roam in the wild, but this is as close as it can get!

The Wildcat Sanctuary – a natural safe haven for over 100 big cats

The Wildcat Sanctuary (TWS) is a 501c3 non-profit, no-kill big cat rescue located in Sandstone, MN. TWS provides a natural sanctuary to wild cats in need and inspires change to end the captive wildlife crisis. TWS is funded solely on private donations. The Sanctuary is a home for animals, not a zoo for people and is not open to the public. Combining natural and spacious habitats with a life free of exhibition and exploitation, TWS allows all residents to live wild at heart. As a true sanctuary, we do not buy, breed, sell or exhibit animals.

They will never know freedom, but with your help they can know compassion. Learn more at WildcatSanctuary.org.

Judge won’t order truck stop tiger’s removal

Comments Off on Judge won’t order truck stop tiger’s removal

A state judge has refused to order the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to remove an 11-year-old tiger from a truck stop in Grosse Tete.

Judge Michael Caldwell ruled Thursday that he cannot order the executive branch to do that. He also ruled that the Animal Legal Defense Fund and two plaintiffs don’t have legal standing to bring up the question.Tony

“There is no legal means for a private citizen to go to a court and ask the judge to order another branch of government to perform what is essentially a discretionary function,” said Jennifer Treadway Morris, attorney for Michael Sandlin and his Tiger Truck Stop Inc.

Lisa Franzetta, spokeswoman for the nonprofit group, said it was considering whether to appeal Thursday’s decision.

In November, Caldwell ordered the department to revoke the permit for a tiger at Tiger Truck Stop.

ALDF sued last month, saying the department refused to confiscate the animal from the truck stop and its owner, Michael Sandlin, because it has appealed Caldwell’s November decision and Sandlin had challenged the constitutionality ofLouisiana’s ban on private ownership of big cats.

“In no way does today’s ruling affect the judge’s previous ruling that Michael Sandlin and Tiger Truck Stop can’t be granted a permit to keep Tony,” Franzetta said. “We were trying to speed up the process of getting Tony away from the truck stop.”

Treadway Morris and attorneys for the Animal Legal Defense Fund will be back in State District Court on Monday. Judge Janice Clark has scheduled a hearing on the group’s request to intervene in Sandlin’s lawsuit.

ALDF files suit against LDWF regarding case of Tony The Truck Stop Tiger

Comments Off on ALDF files suit against LDWF regarding case of Tony The Truck Stop Tiger

BATON ROUGE, LA — This morning, Thursday, April 5, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed a lawsuit to force the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to enforce 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. The ALDF claims that because the tiger still remains in the confines of the truck stop, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is in violation of state law.

“The state of Louisiana has explicit regulations designed to protect tigers like Tony, and the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is required to enforce them” says ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells. “The court has already granted Tony and ALDF a victory by ruling that Michael Sandlin’s permit to display Tony was illegal. Sandlin, now without a permit, cannot be allowed to continue to exploit this tiger with impunity.”

In addition ALDF along with two Louisiana residents filed a petition to intervene in Sandlin’s current lawsuit against the state. The law offices of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell, & Berkowitz, P.C. are providing pro bono assistance with the lawsuit and the petition to intervene

“Take a look at the video below, it show’s how deplorable Tony’s living conditions were. Obviously since then, court appearances & media stories have catapulted Tony’s plight into the public eye & to those who care about animal welfare. Tony’s living conditions haven’t changed much to date, except for a bit of new fencing, a new paint job & a rubber tyre being hung! Not much for a tiger that Mr. Sandlin says is ‘he loves, like one of the family’ is it??”

 

via ALDF files suit against LDWF regarding case of ‘truck stop tiger’ | NBC33 | WVLA.

Related articles

http://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com

Comments Off on http://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com

Tony’s change.org petition reached 12,000 signatures today as people worldwide continue to show their concern for him and support his release to a reputable sanctuary.

Please continue to share http://www.change.org/petitions/ldwf-ensure-tony-the-tiger-is-released-to-a-reputable-sanctuary and visithttp://tinyurl.com/helptonytiger for more ways you can advocate on behalf of Tony.

Thanks again to everyone for your support and dedication to Tony.

Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: