Archive for the ‘“corruption”’ Category
LINK TO DOCUMENTS: http://bit.ly/jiXe6h
WE WILL SHARE THE TRUTH REGARDLESS OF THE OUTCOME. WE ARE ALWAYS WORKING DAILY BEHIND THE SCENES FOR TONY, ALWAYS FIGHTING FOR HIS FREEDOM.
THANK YOU FOR ROARING FOR TONY. UNTIL THAT CAGE IS EMPTY WE HAVE TO STAY VIGILANT.
“In fact, if one person is unkind to an animal it is considered to be cruelty, but where a lot of people are unkind to animals, especially in the name of commerce, the cruelty is condoned and, once large sums of money are at stake, will be defended to the last by otherwise intelligent people.” — Ruth Harrison Animal Machines.
VIDEO # 2 BY MICHAEL SANDLIN AND TIGER TRUCK STOP
It should be called te truth about Tony the Tiger and his life of hell…
CLICK ON LINK ABOVE TO WATCH VIDEO…..
Tony the tiger at Tiger Truck Stop in Louisiana
Location: Louisiana, United States
I thought society as a whole was better than this. I thought surely in this day in age we had grown to have compassion in our hearts. I will never understand how anybody can sleep at night knowing Tony is up at the Tiger Truck Stop suffering every minute of every day. The owner Michael Shawn Sandlin is so proud of his display of animal cruelty. He alone brings so much shame to the state of Louisiana and Iberville Parish. Every breath he takes is a waste. Michael Sandlin owes Tony the rest of his life. This man has been cruelly negligent with every single tiger that he has “owned” and has done so proudly and without any remorse. Take a good look at the fat guy with two tiger cubs laying beside him on the couch at the tiger truck stop web site. If he is allowed to keep Tony at the truck stop after the next council meeting February 17Th 2009 then shame on Louisiana. Google tiger truck stop/ go to www.FreeTony.com / go to www.care2.com and search tiger truck stop, Michael Sandlin or save truck stop tiger by all means educate yourself before you take a real good look at this situation. Do you really believe that it is okay for a TIGER to live at a TRUCK STOP being cruelly neglected and abused? If you do SHAME ON YOU. People that take their children there are teaching them that it is okay to commit a crime ANIMAL CRUELTY which is a felony in Louisiana. If you are buying gas from this truck stop then you are condoning what he is doing. I have talked to some of the truckers from tiger truck stop, not ONE walked away saying that they thought it was right to have tigers at the truck stop. On the Governors web site he says “Bobby Jindal believes Louisiana must break free from the lingering legacy of the past and fully embrace a government that is honest, more efficient, accountable to all its citizens and attractive to deal with by outside investors. Louisiana must proceed quickly and forcefully to overcome a stereotype built up over decades, which continues to hamper our ability to expand the economy and improve the quality of life in our state.” Well do you think we can start with NOT having a tiger at a truck stop? Bobby Jindal definitely has the right mind set to turn Louisiana around and make it into a better place but that can never happen until the community joins him and they to want to live in a better state.
Sincerely, Sky Williamson
(go to www.FreeTony.com for more info.)
The latest brawl comes in the form of the lawsuit filed this week by Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) against Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which last December granted Tony’s owner Michael Sandlin a permit to continue to keep the ten-year-old animal at his Tiger Truck Stop on I-10 in the town of Grosse Tete in Iberville Parish.
The grandfather clause
“In 2006, the Louisiana Legislature passed, and the governor signed, Act 715, a law requiring the state Wildlife and Fisheries Commission to control the private possession of wild cats, including tigers like Tony,” ALDF Staff Attorney Matthew Liebman told Animal Policy Examiner (APE) in an email interview. “The Commission wrote regulations that banned private possession of tigers, with a “grandfather” clause that permits people who legally owned tigers when the law passed to keep them.”
“Our lawsuit states that Mr. Sandlin was ineligible for a grandfather permit under the regulations because he did not legally own Tony when Act 715 was passed, because at that time Iberville Parish had a law prohibiting private possession of tigers,” Liebman explained. “Furthermore, Mr. Sandlin does not live on the premises, which is a requirement for a permit.”
Sandlin’s prior skirmishes included several citations from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) between 1997 and 2007, when he owned and bred many more tigers, charging him with violations of the Animal Welfare Act such as “unsanitary feeding practices, mishandling tigers, failure to provide veterinary care, failure to provide shelter from inclement weather, failure to provide clean drinking water, and repeatedly failing to have knowledgeable employees caring for the tigers,” according to a “FactSheet” compiled by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries nonetheless saw fit to allow Sandlin to keep Tony at the truck stop through 2011, prompting ALDF to legal action.
A ‘natural’ life?
Outspoken animal advocate and True Blood star Kristin Bauer van Straten has entered the fray, lending her voice and fame to free the tiger from what she calls a “low-rent jail.”
“This could not be further from his natural, God-intended life,” she wrote in an email interview. “[Tony] is living a life harsher than we sentence the worst offenders in our society to.”
Liebman said ALDF’s goal is “to get Tony moved to a reputable and humane big cat sanctuary where he can live out his natural life free of the fumes, toxins, and noise that make his current life so miserable. If the permit is revoked, Sandlin will no longer be able to possess Tony in the State of Louisiana.”
Along with the lawsuit ALDF has launched a petition drive aimed at revoking Sandlin’s permit.
On the other side of the battle line, Sandlin offers a “Keep Tony at Home” petition that reads “Tony, a tiger raised from infancy by hand, is the target of a misguided attempt to remove him from the people that raised him, love him, and take care of him daily. He has known no other life, and receives great food, and the best medical attention when needed… “
Meanwhile, at a truck stop on an interstate, a tiger paces, staring back at the sightseers who have come to stare at him, and waits.
APE’s telephone messages left for Sandlin have not yet been returned.
April 12, 2011 11:35 pm ET
Kristin Bauer van Straten, a.k.a. Pam on HBO’s supernatural series True Blood and an ardent supporter of animal welfare causes, has joined Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) in a campaign to free Tony, a Siberian-Bengal tiger confined alone in a concrete cage for a decade at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana.
ALDF filed a lawsuit this week against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries asking that the permit allowing the tiger to live at the truck stop be revoked. The group alleges that the permit “violates both state and local ordinances designed to protect people and wild animals like Tony.” ALDF has also launched a petition drive on behalf of Tony.
Tiger kept in a ‘low-rent jail’?
“Tony did not choose that life,” wrote Bauer van Straten in an email interview with Animal Policy Examiner (APE). “He is living solely for the entertainment of others receiving no fulfillment for himself in any way. He is a prisoner in a low-rent jail, in solitary confinement. He is living a life harsher than we sentence the worst offenders in our society to. It is cruel and unusual punishment—literally.”
On the other paw, if you listen to Michael Sandlin, Tony’s owner and president of Tiger Truck Stop, maybe the ten-year-old cat wants to stay right where he is.
“All of the tigers at Tiger Truck Stop were born in captivity, hand-raised pets, that need and desire human affection,” Sandlin writes on the truck stop’s Save Tony website. “It is our opinion that it would be just as cruel to take our tigers away from their known environment as it would be to capture a wild tiger and put it in a cage.”
Although Tony is currently the only tiger at the truck stop, Sandlin states that “Seven cubs have survived birth here, which is a better record than the national average for zoos in this country… We’ve taken a lot of heat from a few animal rights activists that say our tigers ought to be out in the wild, but we really love these cats and take the very best care of them we can. Some people have told us our cats look like they get better care than cats at a lot of the zoos.”
ALDF points out that Sandlin “has been cited by the USDA [United States Department of Agriculture] due to violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including a lack of proper sanitation and improper feeding practices.”
On his website Sandlin pleads, “HELP US SAVE OUR TIGER!!!! Animal activists from out of state are trying to send our hand-raised, never in the wild, family member to a wild game preserve somewhere. They claim he is endangered here, BUT HE WILL BE THERE!!!”
Sandlin adds, “We have met every regulation and request for the tiger’s safety. He is fed well, and has our full attention. Will he be just one of dozens of tigers fending for themselves??? STOP THIS!! Tony has never been away from the truck stop or the loved ones who have raised him since he was a baby. Sign the petition and write the truck stop to save our big cat!!!”
‘You can tell your friends you saw a tiger’
Tony, who in the wild might command a territory as large as 100 square miles, lives amid “noise and diesel fumes 24 hours a day,” according to an ALDF media release, and “is also frequently harassed and taunted by visitors at the truck stop. His enclosure is devoid of adequate enrichment, such as logs, trees, or complex vegetation that would allow him to engage in natural tiger behaviors. He has no pool of water large enough to allow him to submerge himself to cool off in the blazing heat of the summer.”
“As a result of the stress of his confinement,” ALDF argues, “Tony constantly paces on the hard concrete surface of his enclosure, putting him at risk for dangerous and painful veterinary conditions.”
Along with Tony the tiger, Sandlin’s truck stop offers video poker, the Tiger Café, and the Country Store with tiger-themed souvenirs.
The company’s website proclaims, “ANYBODY can go to Louisiana and see an alligator! You can tell your friends you saw a TIGER! The only live tigers on I-10!!!”
Watch ALDF’s video on Tony the tiger narrated by Kristin Bauer van Straten.
Read more about Tony’s case.
INTERESTED IN MORE NEWS AND INFO ABOUT ANIMALS? Visit AnimalBeat.org.
June 15, 2011 2:19 am ET
In May, responding to a lawsuit by Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) against Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), State District Judge Michael R. Caldwell ruled that the agency must grant no new ownership permits to Tiger Truck Stop of Grosse Tete after the current one expires in December.
However ALDF hopes to convince Caldwell to revoke the current permit, so that the ten-year-old, 550-pound Siberian-Bengal can be removed sooner from what the group says are unhealthy, unsafe, and uncomfortable conditions in a roadside exhibit at the Interstate 10 business, and relocated to a suitable big cat sanctuary.
Recently the judge denied Tiger Truck Stop owner Michael Sandlin’s request that he be allowed to participate in court proceedings about Tony.
Q&A WITH MICHAEL SANDLIN – Part Three of Three
ANIMAL POLICY EXAMINER (APE) You sound pretty determined to keep Tony there at Tiger Truck Stop. Why is that, Mr. Sandlin?
MICHAEL SANDLIN: Well, I like Tony, and I make sure that he’s very well taken care of, and I don’t want him to go. So yes, I’m determined, and nobody likes to be pushed. I have retired cats before. I had two cats that lived in this exhibit for 18 years and had 13 cubs. I retired them to Tiger Haven. It’s outside of Knoxville, Tennessee. From what I understand the lady told me they lived another four years there and died of natural causes.
One of the first cubs that was born there at the Tiger Truck Stop, Shere Khan, he’s still alive and living there at Tiger Haven.
And two of our cubs, or cats, Sugar and Sassy, are located at the Zoo of Acadiana in Broussard, Louisiana.
I’ve traded tigers with other breeders—you know, the cubs—and I sold one to a gentleman in Florida that had a traveling animal show and had a lot of other big cats. From getting to know him, from being a truck driver, I knew that the cat would be taken care of. Her name was Gloria.
So I mean it’s just a lot of good things that have happened with the tigers and I hate to see him [Tony] go, you know?
APE: Why did the tigers you mentioned—the ones that went to the sanctuaries, for instance the one in Tennessee—why did those need to go to sanctuaries?
SANDLIN: Well, at that time the two of them, the mommy and the daddy, Toby and Rainbow, were about 19 years old. Rainbow had had 13 cubs, and she showed that. I mean, the skin on her belly hung down low. She had developed some arthritis in her back legs as a result. She didn’t walk crippled or anything but she just walked real easy on her back legs.
And so in an exhibiting situation, people would go up and they would see Rainbow, and they would see how big she was, and the skin hanging down underneath, you know, made her look so big, and she walked kind of easy. They didn’t understand that she had had 13 cubs and was 19 years old, which is very old for a tiger, so it was time to retire Toby and Rainbow due to old age and not exhibit them anymore.
And then Shere Khan, who was one of the first cubs born at the truck stop, he was a fully intact male tiger, and I had just gotten Tony at that time. And Shere Khan and Toby, although they were father and son, were enemies, you know, they were two males, and they didn’t like the idea of having to share the exhibit with each other and we had to be very careful to not let them get into direct contact with each other because they would fight and one of them would be injured.
It just made managing the exhibit, moving the tigers around for cleaning and that sort of thing, it made it a hard situation. And so I made the decision to retire Shere Khan as well, and just keep the youngest male, and that was Tony. And that’s the tiger that I have today.
APE: Who pays for the care of the tigers you gave to those sanctuaries? Is that something that’s handled by donations from their donors? Or did they ask you for help with that?
SANDLIN: Well, actually I called them to relocate Toby and Rainbow and Shere Khan, and you know, it was all friendly and above the table. But from what I understand, after they came and got Toby and Rainbow and Shere Khan, they plastered it all over their website that they rescued them, even though they did not rescue them. I called them so that they could bring in some donations.
And yes, these people depend on donations to feed and take care of their cats, So again, I understand their quest for money. My question for these groups is they take in so much money, where does all that money go? Because it’s not being spent on their animals.
APE: You mean the group that you gave those tigers to?
SANDLIN: I have no idea. I’m talking specifically about some other groups. I’m not going to— As far as I know, Tiger Haven seems to be a good place. They seem to be taking good care of their animals, so I’m not placing them in the same category as Big Cat Rescue of Tampa, Florida, or PETA that kills 97% of the animals that they take in, or The Humane Society of the United States that takes in millions of dollars every year, then rescues animals and dumps them on local shelters without giving them a penny to help take care of the animals that they dump on them.
No, I don’t have anything against Tiger Haven, other than that they were a little dishonest about stating that it was a rescue when it wasn’t.
APE: You were not required, though, to give them any funding or any money or any payment to take care of those tigers?
SANDLIN: No. I was not required to do that.
APE: You’re very upfront about the fact that you have Tony as an attraction and that he does help you pull in some business. Do you think that your business would suffer if Tony were taken away?
SANDLIN: I think the business would suffer. But at this point I’m hoping that prior to relocating Tony in the event that he ever became ill or something went wrong, or hopefully best case scenario due to old age, that between now and then that I can do some kind of major expansion and maybe put in a tiger museum as an attraction, and that at that point in time be able to replace Tony and the live tiger exhibit with some other attraction. So that’s kind of what I’m working toward. The fact that there’s a death sentence on the exhibit and once Tony is gone I can’t get any more tigers, I need to think for the future and try to move into something else.
APE: So you’re thinking about a tiger museum?
SANDLIN: Right. It would display all of the pictures and stories and all of the paraphernalia that I’ve accumulated over the years, and even go further and try to promote saving the tigers’ natural habitat in the wild, and educating the public on tigers in captivity versus tigers in the wild, and just all kinds of stuff that I could put in that museum.
It would be a good thing to do, number one, and number two, it would be an attraction that would remain for the business long after Tony is gone.
APE: That would be quite an ending for this story.
SANDLIN: Well, I think that’s a good thing to try to work toward. Unless there’s some kind of change in Louisiana law that allows people to own exotic animals, I think that’s where we have to go.
I’d be glad if the law changed, but if not, I think that’s what’s in front of me. It would be good to, number one, do some kind of major expansion and number two, I think the museum’s a good idea whether there’s a tiger there or not. But I think it would be a way—once Tony’s gone and there are no tigers to still promote and educate the public—to promote tigers’ survival in the wild and that sort of thing. And maybe be supportive of some of the good organizations that are out there.
APE: If you do succeed in keeping Tony there, are you saying that— I might have misunderstood, but did you mention that you might be doing an expansion of his habitat?
SANDLIN: Well, I mean, you know that’s always a possibility as well. I think Tony’s habitat is adequate, but there are always things that can be done to improve it. There’s a lot of things that can be done to improve his current situation.
It’s a shame that all this money is having to be spent on attorneys and fighting with these people. But that seems to be what they’re interested in doing. Outside of the Louisiana Humane Society, which in October brought out some pumpkins and chew toys and meaty bones, and I allowed them to give them to Tony, they are the only ones that have ever spent one red cent or lifted one finger to do anything that benefited Tony.
All of these other groups simply want to spread their lies and raise their money, and take in the donations from exploiting Tony that way, and aren’t concerned about doing anything to help Tony in his current situation. They simply want to take him away from me.
The fact that Tony is there because of the idea to have an attraction—I know it’s something that they have accused me of, but it’s not something that I’ve ever denied. You know, you can come to Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete and you can see Tony for free. If you want to go to some of these other sanctuaries then you can pay big money and go in and see their cats, you know? Go figure. But Tony doesn’t depend on the next donation to be fed. He doesn’t have to compete with 150 other big cats for attention or veterinary care or anything. He has one-on-one attention and he’s in a good place right where he’s at.
APE: Thank you, Mr. Sandlin. Really appreciate your spending this time with us today.
SANDLIN: I appreciate your letting me tell my side of the story.
Please check this page again soon for reactions to this interview from animal rescue organizations.button above.
To voice your opinion about the future of Tony the tiger, contact Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
For previous articles about Tony the tiger case please click on ‘Animal Policy Examiner’ above.
A cofounder of AnimalBeat.org, she holds a B.A. in Environmental Science Studies and a lifelong interest in animal issues.