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Truck Stop Tiger Video Not Seen on CNN

Does this look like a happy, healthy animal?

Does this look like a happy, healthy animal?

The recent CNN report on Tony the truck stop Tiger which aired on November, 12th, 2010 on the program, Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell, allowed comments from Michael Sandlin, owner of the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisianna which were totally false.  In the report, Sandlin states that Tony is a “beautiful, healthy” tiger and is “not isolated. When asked about the “Do Not Throw Rocks” sign on the outside of the cage, Sandlin counters with that the only people throwing objects at Tony are the animal rights activists, and refers to them as “domestic terrorists.” He also states that Tony is “very well taken care of.” Is there anyone out there that actually believes this man’s statements?

I was there at Tony’s cage on October 15th, 2010.  I reported it through a video, placed on YouTube.  Per contact, I provided the raw, unedited version of the video to CNN with permission to be used on the program.  For editing reasons, the video did not make the Issues report.

For Sandin to lay claim that this is a healthy animal in a beautiful environment is wrong.   For him to say that animal lovers are the ones throwing rocks at Tony the Tiger, is an outright lie.  One does not have to be an “animal activist” to understand outright abuse.

The video shown on the report was a much older version.  You can see grass and planted flowers and the tiger in the video is much “fatter.”  This photo of Tony was taken during our visit and you can clearly see his sunken stomach and our video shows him spending his time eating grass within his cage.

Watch the Tiger Issues Report from CNN . . . Michael Sandlin claims that this truck stop tiger is healthy and living in a beautiful environment.

Then . . . watch the raw, unedited version of our video from our recent trip.  The sights, the sounds . . . everything that this animal has lived through for the last ten years.  There is something seriously wrong in Grosse Tete, Louisiana.  Truckers should boycott the Tiger Truck Stop until this real issue is solved.

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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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19 Responses to Truck Stop Tiger Video Not Seen on CNN. - Post a Comment

  1. Dawn Flann

    You speak the truth Allen and Thank you for this!!! Michael Sandlin last night sat there and lied on National Television! Again the man shows his true colors! THIS PEOPLE IS THE TYPE OF PERSON, THAT TONY THE TIGER HAS BEEN FORCED TO LIVE WITH!!! A LIAR, A CHEAT A CON…AND YES AN ANIMAL ABUSER!!!
    Please join our fight to get Tony out of there!!!!

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Allen Smith, Donna Smith. Donna Smith said: Review of the show from Issues on CNN.with UNEDITED VIDEO from Oct15th! […]

  3. Karen Deakins

    Thank you so much, Allen, for speaking up, for speaking the truth. Sandlin…I just want you to know that everyone I know concerned about animal welfare spends their free time throwing rocks at animals. Have mercy, man! If you are going to tell lies, come up with something HALFWAY credible! Speaking of Mercy, have Mercy on Tony.

  4. eliza

    Thank you for speaking
    up Tony. Something very unjust has been going on for many years concerning Sandlin!!!!

  5. Heather


  6. Dan

    For those concerned with Tony. One thing you can do to help BILLIONS of animals is to adopt a plant-based, vegan diet. It’s not enough to simply “feel bad” for these animals, if we truly care, our lifestyle has to change.

  7. TruckerDesiree

    One person suggested that another Tiger that had a terminal illness showed visual signs like as if he was not being fed but it turned out to be worse.

    The fact that Tony’s vet does only a visual check on him and does not do blood work makes it all the more upsetting.

    This Tiger has been breathing toxic fumes most of his life 24/7 as his cage is so close to the fuel bays.

    Tony has provided Michael Sandlin a meal ticket and a life of luxury. Nice vacations, nice Truck …. but he feeds Tony substandard food and has been caught giving him chicken necks with maggots as we heard on the blog talk radio program last week.

    This Tiger deserves to live his life out in a sanctuary.

  8. Catherine Turley

    thanks for trying to keep them honest. too bad the people we actually pay to enforce the laws don’t care.

  9. Dee

    Once again, Thank You “AskTheTrucker” for being such a strong and vital voice for Tony.

    This recent raw footage should have been shown last night on Issues with JVM so people could truly see Tony’s unhealthy “habitat,” as well as his behavior and overall physical condition. People then could compare it to what Mr. Sandlin claimed. It was appalling to hear him talk about Tony being healthy and very well taken care of.

    The lack of concern for Tony’s well-being has clearly been demonstrated by the USDA, Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries, The Iberville Parish Council and Mr. Sandlin himself.

    Tony needs to be relocated to an accredited big cat sanctuary where he will receive professional care, a natural habitat, medical care, a proper diet, enrichment and the respect and peace he deserves.

    Please take a few minutes of your time to voice your concerns for Tony, who has been exploited and subjected to inadequate care for 10 years. Visit Big Cat Rescue – Tampa FL’s action alert for him: It’s a convenient way to contact all the key organizations, elected officials etc. to let them know you OPPOSE the renewal of the Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries permit to Tiger Truck Stop. Please take action for Tony and share the link. Keep Roaring For Tony until the day he can roar in freedom himself.

  10. […] in the campaign to relocate Tony to an accredited big cat sanctuary. Please comment on the post at: and also on the Youtube video itself: […]

  11. flapotter

    Thank you Allen….we need all the su[port we can get to free Tony from this awful place. The ignorance and cruelty of LA, Sandlin, the FWC is unreal….
    “Good ole Boys” care only about themselves and the bottom line. Compassion is not a four letter word therefore it is not understood by the ignorant greedy Iberville Parish people and LA legislators!!

  12. eliza

    Now is the time to act for Tony go to the B.C.R. capwiz site and add your own words . Make calls share, tell anyone that will listen. Thank you Allen and all the truckers that are helping and boycotting!!!!

  13. Allen Smith

    Some folks believe that just because an animal is fed ( if you can call it that) and allowed to live ( exist) that they are well cared for.
    We try to be a voice for many truckers regarding the difficult issues they face daily: False DAC reporting, lack of safe truck parking,truck lease scams, anti idling laws, faulty CDL training programs, CDL school scams, etc…

    We applaud all of you for your convictions and passion for being a voice for such a majestic animal which is on the verge of extinction.
    The abuse and exploiting of MAN or BEAST for the profit of another is unacceptable.

  14. […] Ask the Trucker’s Post With Raw Video Footage of Tony:  […]

  15. MyKinKStar

    Thank you for your efforts to save Tony from that wretched place.

    Unfortunately, Tony weighs much less than last we saw him. It likely means something much more serious than we’ll ever know, especially since there is no evidence of his medical care. He’s living a stressful life, without any peace or quiet, all of his senses are corrupted – from sight and smell to bodily functions that should be on sand/dirt and not on concrete. His diet should be super high quality to insure he’s at optimum health, and it would be nice to know what he’s actually being fed to see it and how he responds to a meal.

    Is there any chance that someone could stake out the place to witness a feeding and record it? I’d like to witness the so-called ‘one on one’ contact Michael Sandlin insists Tony as each day too . . . AS IF! Though I’m sure there must be some kind of interaction with whomever feeds him and/or barely cleans his area, I doubt it’s anything of value. It would still be nice to see it as proof though.

    Again, thank you for your valuable video contributions. Let’s all pray Tony gets to see the stars in the night sky soon, out from under all those damned spot lights!

  16. Mark S Blackmon, Alabama

    Truckstops like the trucking companies are all just worried about how much money they can make! They don’t care anything about the way they make it! Be it drivers, gimmicks or anything else!

  17. Valeria

    My Mom and Dad are on their way home. They just stopped to see Tony the truck stop tiger in Grosse Tete this morning and took photos. They said that his “swimming pool” is a water trough that you’d have for a horse, and two little kids were there throwing stones at Tony and my mother told them to stop. I wonder how many times a day that happens to poor Tony?? :*( I guess those two kids were the “domestic terrorists” and “animal activists” that Sandlin was talking about on the HLN interview?? They also said that all Tony did was pace back and forth, which is stereotypical behavior for confined animals, and they also said that the semi trucks are parked very close to his cage.

  18. Allen Smith

    Makes you wonder what goes on when nobody is around to see, doesn’t it?

  19. ChickieLou

    If Sandlin really cared about his “pet” and not about the money he gets from displaying him, he’d turn Tony over to Big Cat Rescue immediately. To my way of thinking, Sandlin is the beast!

    Truckers, the only way to reach a greedy selfish person like Sandlin is to drive right by his truck stop and DON’T PATRONIZE it. Please, I am begging you: don’t stop at this truck stop.

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