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Raising the Standards of the Trucking Industry


Fight for Tony The Tiger Freedom Continues


Tony the TigerFollowing up on our previous post, Truck Stop fights to keep Tony the Tiger, the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana won its battle to keep Tony the Tiger as its main attraction, as Iberville Parish Council voted 11-1 in favor of truck stop owner, Michael Sandlin. Councilman Mitchel J. Oubre said he observed about 100 visitors to Tony’s habitat in about 45 minutes, while councilman Matt Jewell added that the tuck stop  employs 40 to 70 workers who could lose their jobs if customers stopped visiting the truck stop to see the famous and exotic Siberian-Bengal tiger. Thus, a few of the main reasons the council voted in favor of the owner.

Activists claim that this violates animal rights regulations, of which, Sandlin has been written up for sixteen times by the U. S. Department of Agriculture.   Dangers to the 550 pound animal includes:

  • Constant inhalation of diesel fumes
  • Living among its own waste
  • Flashing lights in its face by cameras
  • Aggravation by sight-seers crowding around the cage
  • Living alone with no interaction of animals of its kind      (Since 2003)

Furthermore, a 1993 Parish Ordinance prohibits an individual from keeping any “wild, exotic, vicious animal or reptile for display or for exhibition purposes.” Councilman Edwin “Ed” Reeves Jr. cast the only single dissenting vote, claiming that Tony “deserves a better environment than the one he has been given at the truck stop.” It is also noted by experts that these large cats experience physical damages by being kept in cages, unable to walk their average 400 miles per day as done in the wild.  Also, tigers and other wild cats that are kept in cages will resort to self mutilation.

I have visited this truck stop many times while I ran over the road and never saw 100 visitors within 45 minutes, so I would call that statement a bit of a “stretch.”   Tiger Truck Stop always had great food and good people to chat with, but I always felt disheartened by these beautiful animals caged up as they were, and as Tony still is.

Sandlin counters with, “He’s a pet, and at the truck stop, Tony’s with the only family he has ever known.” The fight to free the massive animal continues:

Free Tony the Tiger is one fight to set the animal in a proper environmental setting.   They can also be found on the massive social media network, Twitter.

Big Cat Rescue of Tampa, Florida continues to offer the correct environmental setting for Tony, but Sandlin has stated:  “They just want to steal my tiger” and that they have “Never offered to help raise money to improve Tony’s habitat.”


The battle for Tony’s freedom has been going on for years and it appears it will continue.  Tiger Truck Stop offers some of the best home cooking around and whenever I visited, just good, friendly “folks.”   As for this issue, I’ll be standing on the side lines watching to see how it unfolds in the future.   In the meantime, freedom for Tony will have to wait.

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By: Allen Smith

Allen Smith is a 37 year veteran who started at an early age in a household goods family moving business. He began driving straight trucks in 1977 and moved to the big rigs in 1982. His experience within the industry includes; owner operator, company driver, operations manager, and owner of a long distance HHG moving business, taking many of the long haul moves himself when needed. Allen Smith, a truck driver advocate who is driven by the desire to help others succeed within an industry where injustice, unrewarded sacrifice, and lack of respect and recognition exists. Allen and his wife Donna are hosts of Truth About Trucking ”Live” on Blog Talk Radio. Other websites include AskTheTrucker, TruckingSocialMedia, NorthAmericanTruckingALerts, TruthAboutTrucking, and many Social Media websites. In 2011 Allen and Donna hosted the first Truck Driver Social Media Convention, designed to create unity and solutions for the trucking industry. This is now being extended through the North American Trucking Alerts network as those within the industry join forces for the betterment of the industry. Allen strongly supports other industry advocates who are also stepping up to the plate to help those who share honesty, guidance and direction. He believes that all those involved in trucking need to be accountable for their part within the industry, including drivers, carriers, brokers, shippers, receivers, etc… The list of supporters and likeminded people grow daily, networking together and sharing thoughts and ideas for the betterment of trucking. He has coined the popular phrase "Raising the standards of the trucking industry"

View all posts by Allen Smith →

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23 Responses to Fight for Tony The Tiger Freedom Continues. - Post a Comment

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Allen Smith, Theresa Biddle and Animal News & Info, Tony Tiger. Tony Tiger said: Fight for Tony The Tiger Freedom Continues […]

  2. […] Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Tiger’s swim to freedomA Poem For TonyTony the Tiger Update 9-25-09 and PicturesTeam Tony […]

  3. james platt

    i myself have wondered if the place was busy enough for a hundred people per hour to gawk at Tony, at least every hour of the day. despite any potential exaggerations though, it is clear this tiger has too small of a cage in a very noisy environment. the donation box on his cage speaks volumes. Tony has done nothing but pace for years now, and the disgrace of this majestic animal is obvious to everyone except its owner.

  4. Tigress62

    Thank you so much for posting this update on Tony. I was shocked, saddened and angered by the LDW&F decision. I cannot believe they are allowing this display of animal abuse and cruelty to continue. I will not stop voicing my concern for Tony’s welfare and my outrage at those who involved in the decision to grant the permit to Tony’s owner.

  5. […] Should the operation continue, or should Tony the Tiger be set “free?”    Read our updated post on the fight to free Tony the Tiger from the Tiger Truck Stop. […]

  6. Allen Smith

    You’re right, James. Again, I’ve been there many times and never saw 100 people within 45 minutes. Most of the time there were only a handful of people around the cage, and often, none at all. The most I’ve ever seen there were maybe 10-15 at one time. Just thought that statement was an “exaggeration” ….

  7. Allen Smith

    We will also keep watch on this issue. Donna and I may be traveling through there the end of this year, and we will stop and take pictures, etc., and continue with an update …

  8. uberVU - social comments

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by truckerapp: Fight for Tony The Tiger Freedom Continues: The Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana won its battle to…

  9. Tigress62

    So many of Tony’s supporters would definitely appreciate some new pictures of Tony and an update on him. Thank you so much.

  10. Terri Halle

    Please join us on Facebook at Save Tony The Tiger, where there are petitions to sign, and email addresses to the so-called officials responsible for allowing Tony to live this wretched life.

    And please, if you’re passing through, kindly take some pictures for us to see how this big boy is doing. Thank you.

  11. […] Should the operation continue, or should Tony the Tiger be set “free?”    Read our updated post on the fight to free Tony the Tiger from the Tiger Truck Stop. […]

  12. KinKStar

    I’d like to ask anyone who is traveling through Louisiana, to please take a moment and check on Tony to see how he’s doing. Pictures of the big guy would greatly be appreciated!

  13. Allen Smith

    We will be traveling through there the end of this year, and will take some photos and video …. Allen

  14. Kelly

    I have friends who are truckers. They told me about the tiger and we all agree its the saddest thing. The tiger only gets ONE LIFE. Can the selfish idiot that owns him NOT see that a tiger sanctuary would be in the animals best interest. People would donate to his care in a proper environment. No one will donate to him being kept in a high stress environment causing him to never see nature or have a comfortable tiger style living environment. The can doesnt know the difference.. but we as humans do.. and the owner is only thinking about his own monetary gains from having the tiger for marketing reasons. If he ever loved it .. he would do the right thing. I found a petition getting signed for Conoco to quit supplying the tiger truck stop until the tiger gets to go to a santuary. Thats another route that can be followed. Just surf the web for the petition. You can sign it and see if it helps the owner reconsider his decision to continue to abuse the tiger. It needs to be in a much bigger area and to have soil and fresh air and grass and nature.. not concrete and fecal matter and be behind bars.

  15. Allen Smith

    Hi Kelly: Yes, the Conoco petition can be found here:

    I seriously doubt Conoco will stop delivering fuel to the truck stop, but you made a great point about the owner only in it for monetary gain … I believe that also …. because of what he said: “Never offered to help raise money to improve Tony’s habitat.” – To me, that speaks volumes!

  16. Allen Smith

    On another note, when I found the petition it only had 269 signatures and they were wanting to hit 500 … right now, since this post was made, it is at 465 …. I think we are going to help it make the 500 mark! But let’s not stop there … keep it growing !!!! Allen

  17. Tigress62

    Just an update: The petition you have in this blog post “Ask Council To Enforce Their Own Codes About Tony The Tiger” and another, “Ask Conoco to Stop Supplying the Tiger Truckstop” were both closed by the petitions’ creator. I’m sorry I don’t have any more information. They were not my petitions.

  18. Sky Williamson

    Check out these web sites about Tony….

    Tony’s Fan Page on FaceBook:!/pages/Free-Tony-The-Tiger/328048525558?ref=mf

    Tony’s Tale on youtube:

    Forget about all the rest of the groups you see on facebook about Tony~ WE have the facts!!!

  19. Sky Williamson

    Okay the link did not completely post for some reason.

    The fan page is called Free Tony The Tiger

    Let me try it one more time:!/pages/Free-Tony-The-Tiger/328048525558?ref=mf

  20. susan

    Maybe we should insist that the a**hole that “owns” this tiger, be put in the cage for a week, se how he likes it. Probably some man with insecurity issues, makes him feel like a big man to keep a powerful beautiful animal like this caged up.

  21. […] pacing around his cage, eating grass from the enclosure. What’s more, Smith has in the past praised the Tiger Truck Stop for other things, like its down-home food and service, perhaps uncommon among stops of late. But after CNN asked for […]

  22. Dawn Flann

    This Abuse and Neglect that has been allowed in this State has gone on long enough! Tony is at the point now where he needs Immediate Medical Care and yet his Vet has refused to give him a full Examination.
    Recent Pictures show Tony in a Very Thin State. Four Professinal Vets have Enlarged these pictures and all have come to the same conclusion that it looks like he could be suffering from Kidney Failure and yet….everyone in that God Awful State has turned their back on him.
    If anyone wishes to Join this Fight to help Tony, please follow us here to get first hand updates and ways to Take ACtion to stop this Crime!
    A big shout out to Allen Smith for your continued support in helping Tony.

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