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Tony “The Truck Stop” Tiger Revisited

Tony "The Truck Stop" Tiger

Tony "The Truck Stop" Tiger

I recently had the opportunity to visit the famous Tony the Tiger, the 10 year old Siberian/Bengal tiger at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana.  Having last seen him about six years ago, I was curious to observe how he was doing.  Still in his unchanged cage, we were able to draw him out of his hiding spot and was able to see Tony move around in his small quarters.

He moved slowly around the cage, almost lethargically, and I was able to capture our visit on video.

Animal rights activists continue the fight to free this beautiful animal which has been caged since birth.  Big Cat Rescue of Tampa, Florida is asking for help from those who believe that Tony deserves a better home.  Their website explains:

“Tiger Truck Stop owner, Michael Sandlin’s, permit to keep Tony the tiger at the truck stop in Gross Tete, LA is up for renewal soon and with your help the LA. Dept. of Wildlife & Fisheries and USDA  may choose to not renew him.  This would enable Tony to move to a sanctuary away from the torment of being kept on concrete, breathing gas fumes and being annoyed by every carload of yahoos that drive through.”

“Here is what we need:

“Veterinarians who will send us notarized affidavits that it is unhealthy to cage an animal at a truck stop next to gas pumps due to the fumes from the pumps and the 24/7 traffic of diesel trucks.”

“Statements from veterinarians and other experts that attest to the fact that being kept on concrete is detrimental to the health and comfort of big cats.  He has a grass yard, but is often prevented from accessing it, and there is no shade there.”

“Eye witness reports, photos and videos of Tony living in squalor at the Tiger Truck Stop.”

They are asking for this type of information to be mailed to:

Big Cat Rescue
12802 Easy Street
Tampa, FL 33625

Or you can email them to:

Here is the video of Tony “The Truck Stop” Tiger from our recent visit . . . you can decide if Tony deserves a better home:

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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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35 Responses to Tony “The Truck Stop” Tiger Revisited. - Post a Comment

  1. Tigress62

    I want to thank you and Donna for this post for Tony and the great video you did for him. Tony has suffered for 10 years in this unhealthy and unnatural environment and needs to be relocated to an accredited big cat sanctuary immediately. LDWF: put what is paramount in this case as your priority: Tony’s health, welfare and LIFE. If you decide to renew your permit to Tiger Truck Stop – you condemn Tony to another year of suffering. Put an end to this sad, abusive, unacceptable situation and allow Tony to have the care, home, peace and respect he deserves.

  2. Meredith

    Please urge officials to DENY renewing Sandlin’s permit so Tony can go to a forever home of peace, comfort and tranquility.

    This is NO way for such a majestic animal to live.

  3. Jan Vidar Pedersen

    This is NO WAY to treat an animal – he needs more space, abd clean air to breath in! Can’t belive this is legal!

  4. DonnaB

    This video speaks volumes and you did a great job showing everyone why Tony needs to be relocated to a sanctuary. Right now, the cats at Big Cat Rescue are enjoying their Halloween treats while Tony is left to eat grass. I’ve signed all the petitions, posted the links on my site and blog, written countless letters and written a fictional short story from Tony’s viewpoint to get the word out about him. I hope everyone that sees this signs the petitions.

  5. Arlene Gardsbane

    I don’t think it should have taken Louisiana 10 years to realize that Tony is in an unhealthy situation and needs to be released to a santuary. Unfortunately, at age 10 his years are running out. How much longer should he suffer?

  6. eliza

    THANK YOU for fighting and roaring for Tony!!!!

  7. Dawn Flann

    It is astonishing how many people across this World have joined Tony’s Fight. It is disgusting to know that there are places such as the State of Louisiana that allows such inhumane behavior. Inhumane Behavior on an Endangered Species?! This Tiger kept in a Small Concrete Cage for 10 damn years for what?? So Michael Sandlin can make money and bring in extra business to his Truckstop???and as you sit there Michael and count your dollars and your cents….WHO PAYS THE PRICE?? An Endangered Tiger pays the PRICE!!!! For you!!! For your GREED, for your SELFISHNESS, for your SELF ESTEEM, for your SELF WORTH…
    …and all the while the LDw&f sits back and lets you do this. An organization whos purpose is supposed to be the welfare of “WILDLIFE”.
    Louisiana and your Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries, why don’t you stop the catering to Michael Sandlin and for the first time in TEN LONG YEARS,Why don’t you go look at Tony and think about what you people have done to this Beautiful Tiger…
    THANK YOU “ASK THE TRUCKER” for all that you are doing to spread the word about Tony xo

  8. Chery Hindman

    “Animals are not property, they are not ours to use”
    The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Iberville Parish Animal Control and the USDA, inspector Lynne P. Borgeois needs to stop placating Tiger owner Michael Sandlin and revoke all of his permits, to this date he is not in compliance with any of the stipulations set forth in any of his permits. I have sent this information to them. SET TONY FREE, WE WONT STOP UNTIL HE IS OUT. BELIEVE ME WHEN I TELL YOU MICHAEL SANDLIN…MY EYES ARE WIDE OPEN.

  9. Deb Adler

    This is a disgusting example of someone manipulating public officials. Michael Sandlin needs to spend his next 10 years in Tony’s cage and find out how humane it really is. Michigan Humane Society and Michigan Anti-Cruelty Laws prevent such travesties. When you gonna wake up LA lawmakers? Right now you look very bad in the eye of caring people all around the globe! FREE TONY THE TIGER NOW! Worldwide Facebook campaign will be successful and Tony WILL BE FREE!

  10. Nancy Fox

    I’ve been following Tony’s story from Indonesia for a while now. Unbelievable that in a country as the USA animals can still be treated like this. Please keep up the good work, you guys are an inspiration for all animal lovers!

  11. Martha Skinner

    Please contact Bobby Jindal, Gov of Louisiana re this tiger and ask that he have an immediate investigation into the LDWF for allowing this to happen. YOU DO NOT have to be a resident of Louisiana or a US citizen to comment. Just click where it says Parish and scroll down to “out of state”.
    The link is

    Then please go to the petition asking that the LDWF NOT renew the owner’s permit. That link is:

    We need every single person to be involved.

  12. Mark

    Have eatin many a time there in the presents of that cat ,Always felt bad for him. this is good news for sure. Kinda late though.

  13. MyKinKStar

    ‘this is good news for sure’ and ‘Kinda late though’. . . WHAT does this mean Mark?

  14. MyKinKStar

    You are right Deb, BUT Louisiana has no idea how many people are REALLY outraged at Tony’s life in that damned concrete cage! WHY? Because even though Tony has thousands of Facebook friends, many have not signed the petitions! The page states what is needed, asks for help by sharing it, BUT MOST ‘friends’ HAVE NOT bothered to do anything and that includes adding their signature. It is DISGUSTING Laziness or Ignorance!

  15. MyKinKStar

    I want Tony to be free in this Year Of The Tiger . . . To finally be able to see the stars in the nightsky after living under spotlights for over 10 years!

    Please tell me how anyone can EAT someplace, with a STUFFED tiger on top of the salad bar? A tiger, who suddenly disappeared from the cage outside, only to return like that! Are WE as people on this earth, so NUMB to the use/abuse of LIFE, that we can’t see and realize how WRONG it is for MAN to do this to ANY Animal? Michael Sandlin is AT BEST a selfish, arrogant, little man. SHAME on him.

  16. flapotter

    Please contact LDWF with your message. I do not think they will monitor comments on this site. Let’s all join together to free Tonay and get him to a true sanctuary at Big Cat Rescue!

  17. flapotter

    LA doe NOT realize Tony ought to be freed….Sandlin’s permit was granted and is now up for RENEWAL to keep Tony imprisoned as a money making tourist attraction.
    PLEASE contact LDWF thru links provided and voice your opinion!!

  18. flapotter

    Mark…exactly what “good news”: is there for Tony the Tiger?
    He is still in prison
    The truck stop continues to use him for profit
    He is not well cared for from this video that is obvious.
    So, if you feel bad for Tony, try to help him!!
    Protest to Gov Jindal here
    Go here to sign a petition that will be submitted to LDWF:

    We all need to band together to help save Tony!!

  19. Valeria

    Thank you so much for writing about poor Tony and giving an update on his conditions. I hope that every one who has not done so, will take a few minutes to sign his online petition. I also listed some other contact information for the Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries:

    Opelousas Field Office * serving Avoyelles, Iberville, Pointe Coupee, St. Landry and West Baton Rouge Parishes

    Opelousas Field Office
    5652 Hwy. 182
    Opelousas, LA 70570
    Phone (337) 948-0255
    Fax (337) 948-0213

  20. Valeria

    PS… I also beg all truckers and other travelers to boycott the Tiger Truck Stop. Please visit Tony and take photos and videos to keep us updated on his conditions, but don’t give Michael Sandlin, the owner of the truck stop, one red hot penny.

  21. […] across the web. Trucking advocate, Allen Smith of the, has spoken out about Tiger Truck Stop on his website. Leonardo Dicaprio, a vocal advocate for saving endangered wild tigers, tweeted last month about […]

  22. […] across the web. Trucking advocate, Allen Smith of the, has spoken out about Tiger Truck Stop on his website. Leonardo Dicaprio, a vocal advocate for saving endangered wild tigers, tweeted last month about […]

  23. […] again our good friends at Ask The Trucker  are showing their support for Tony. One of the featured topics on Aubrey Allen Smith’s show […]

  24. […] ”Free Tony The Tiger” appreciates everything Allen and Donna are doing for Tony such as networking his story and visiting Tony at Tiger Truck Stop recently and documenting the state of Tony and his living conditions. Please see their video and account of  Tony at: […]

  25. Dixie Darling

    I just wonder how many people that are making a big deal over Tony are vegans? If you eat ANY kind of meat you are no better than the people that have Tony locked up in that small enclosure. If you drink milk, eat eggs, seafood, cheese, or ANY animal product of ANY kind you are a hypocrite of the worst kind! How could you say you care when you consume some of the most abused animals on the face of the earth? Until you can say you do not eat any part of any animal then shut your uncaring trap!!!

    • Allen Smith

      There’s a big difference between eating meat from an animal for nourishment and owning an animal without caring for him just for a gimmick or profit.
      There are many people who believe that the animals in the food industry are also abused.
      Perhaps they too should be as vocal and get things changed, just as those trying to change Tony’s life has done.

  26. Dixie Darling

    I am very vocal about it but people don’t want to hear the truth. They are so brainwashed from birth that humans cannot live without eating dead animals and their bi-products they don’t want to hear the truth. NO HUMAN is designed to eat meat and you can be much healthier living a peaceful life and not murdering animals. I have seen Tony, I have been in the restaurant where his sister sits above the buffet. I even have pictures of Tony and some of his sister. My heart goes out for ALL caged and imprisoned animals including farm animals. I do not believe any one animal should die and others are allowed to live. I do hope Tony gets a better place to live but until he is back in the wild he is still a slave to man, even if he is in a larger place, being vetted and fed properly.

  27. Tigress62

    Hi flapotter. I have contacted LDWF etc. on behalf of Tony and will never give up fighting for this beautiful tiger. I know what a great home Tony would have at BCR having visited there last year.

  28. […] Tony “The Truck Stop” Tiger Revisited (29) […]

  29. […] Ask The Trucker’s Post With Their Original Video: […]

  30. […] posted a video subsequently that showed what they felt was an animal in distress, pacing around his cage, eating […]

  31. […] Tony “The Truck Stop” Tiger Revisited | AskTheTrucker […]

  32. Penny

    Can someone in Texas check the Truck stop on I-10 at Exit 87 somewhere between El Paso and Van Horn to see if they still have Tigers?

  33. […] Truck Stop has long been known for its plentiful bathrooms, clean showers. Oh, and there's the actual Siberian-Bengal tiger they keep on the grounds. In the past, there have been many more. Turns out, after all these […]

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