Judge says truck stop owner can’t intervene in decisions about Tony the tiger
According to Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) staff attorney Matthew Liebman, Judge Michael R. Caldwell “has denied [Tiger Truck Stop owner Michael] Sandlin's petition to intervene in the case, and Sandlin is attempting to appeal the decision.”
Last month ALDF won a lawsuit against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) that resulted in a judge prohibiting the agency from renewing Tiger Truck Stop’s permit to keep ten-year-old Tony.
However Caldwell denied ALDF’s request that he revoke the truck stop’s current permit, which expires in December, allowing the 550-pound cat to continue drawing customers to the Gross Tete business until then. ALDF subsequently filed a new motion asking for revocation of that permit.
Sandlin told Animal Policy Examiner in a recent phone interview that he filed the petition to intervene because he believes his “civil rights were violated… These two entities [ALDF and LDWF] went to court, and without my participation or without my being allowed to present evidence or an argument of any kind, decided what to do with my property. And we’re requesting a new hearing. If he [the judge] rules against our petition, we’re prepared to file an appeal and take it to a higher court. So the fight is far from over.”
LDWF postpones hearing on revocation of permit
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has asked for postponement of the hearing on the issue of the truck stop’s current permit to keep Tony.
According to Liebman, "The hearing is still on calendar for next Tuesday, but the state has asked for a continuance, which would delay the hearing indefinitely. We filed an opposition to the continuance today [June 9]. We probably won’t know until Monday or even Tuesday whether the hearing will take place as scheduled; it all depends on whether the judge grants the continuance."
To voice your opinion on Tony's future, contact Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
Read previous articles about Tony:
Public input favors revocation of truck stop’s permit to keep tiger, says Louisiana spokesman