Tony, a Siberian-Bengal tiger, has endured 17 years of misery at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana. That is why the Animal Legal Defense Fund has taken to the Louisiana courts to free Tony from this truck stop nightmare. We won our lawsuit to prevent Tony’s “owner” Michael Sandlin from renewing his permit. Sandlin subsequently filed his own lawsuit to overturn the state’s ban on big cat ownership. Sandlin has exploited tigers for over 20 years: buying, breeding, selling, and exhibiting tigers in poor conditions for his own profit. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited Sandlin’s truck stop in the past for unsanitary feeding practices; mishandling tigers; and failure to provide veterinary care, shelter from inclement weather, clean drinking water, and knowledgeable employees to care for the tigers. In 2003, Sandlin’s animal welfare violations sparked public outcry, and three tigers were removed. The USDA allowed Sandlin to keep one tiger: Tony. He has been alone ever since. Life at the truck stop is harmful to an animal with such sensitive hearing and acute sense of smell, says veterinarian Jennifer Conrad, who has cared for captive large cats for two decades. After visiting Tony, she declared he is “in poor condition and needs intervention on his behalf.” In addition to exposure to noise and diesel fumes, Tony is taunted by truck stop visitors. His enclosure lacks adequate enrichment. He has no pool of water to cool off in the blazing heat of the summer. As a result of this stressful confinement, Tony constantly paces in his enclosure, putting him at risk for dangerous and painful veterinary conditions. His suffering demonstrates the problem of privately-owned tigers with no room to move around. There are less than 500 Siberian and only 2,500 Bengal tigers left in the wild. In their natural habitat, tigers live alone, travel many miles to hunt, and avoid humans. Please send Tony to a reputable Sanctuary NOW!!!!
Tony is a beautiful Siberian/Bengal tiger who has spent the last 16 years living in a small enclosure at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tate, La. Years of petitions and legal battles have been waged in an attempt to allow Tony to be sent to a sanctuary, where he can finally live in peace, far away from the incessant drone of diesel engines, the taunting by humans, and the stench of the fumes from the trucks and cars who come there 24/7. However, every time it appears there has been success, another roadblock is thrown up to keep Tony where he is.
Tony has endured this nightmare for 14 years. His entire life is spent breathing in the toxic fumes from the huge trucks and cars that are constantly coming and going from the truck stop. People taunt him, throw garbage and even rocks at him through the bars of his cage, and he has never known a moment of true peace and quiet in his entire life. This magnificent animal should never be forced to live like this, and advocates must not give up on him, no matter how long it takes to make this right.
Sandlin has adamantly maintained that Tony is well cared for, and there are no public safety concerns. However, as any animal advocate knows, being kept in a small enclosure in the conditions of diesel fumes, constant traffic noise, and taunting by humans is not the way an exotic animal such as Tony should live. Since Tony cannot live in the wild, life in a sanctuary, where he would have a huge expanse of property in which to run, stimulation appropriate for a big cat, proper food, and the nurturing of professional caretakers is what is best for Tony. He deserves to spend what is left of his life in peace and serenity.
GET TONY OUT OF TRUCK STOP NOW, AND SENT TO A REPUTABLE SANCTUARY. EVERY MINUTE COUNTS FOR HIM.