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Truck Stop Tiger Wins Freedom

May
13,
2011
10
Tony the Tiger

The "REAL" Tony the Tiger

After 10 years of life in a cage, Tony the truck stop tiger has won his freedom.  The Siberian Bengal tiger has spent his entire life at the infamous Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisianna surrounded by diesel fumes and living conditions that were harmful to his well-being.  Activists from around the world have supported in the fight to free Tony for years.

On Friday, May 6th 2011, District Judge R. Michael Caldwell of the East Baton Rouge District Court granted the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s request for a permanent injunction against the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.  This action prevents them from renewing the annual permit that allows truck stop owner, Michael Sandlin to keep Tony as of December 14th, 2011.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund continues their effort to help free Tony before December 14th by submitting a new petition which would call for the immediate revoking of the permit that allows him to remain at the truck stop.

The fight for Tony’s freedom has drawn the attention and help by celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Kristin Bauer. Credit can be given to all of the thousands of people from around the world who have worked tirelessly for ten years in the plight for Tony’s freedom, but two advocates particularly should be noted for their endless work in this cause:

Sky Williamson who has spread the word about Tony through her Tony the Tiger Facebook page and Dee DeSantis with her free Tony the Tiger wordpress blog.  Everyone involved resulted in what is being called a “Victory for Tony” but these two advocates should be noted for their endless work towards drawing attention and awareness to the case.

For now, Tony will gain his long awaited freedom on December 14th, 2011.  You can help to have him removed before this date, to what will possibly be the Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida by signing the new petition from the Animal Legal Defense Fund.


© 2011, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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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"

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10 Responses to Truck Stop Tiger Wins Freedom. - Post a Comment

  1. Dee

    Allen & Donna: Thank you so much for supporting Tony, visiting him and documenting his conditions, and for networking his story. It’s wonderful how we all can come together to support one another in our causes.

    The collaboration of caring people around the world, Louisiana residents and Former State Representative Warren Triche, The Animal Legal Defense Fund, Big Cat Rescue of Tampa Florida, Baker & Donelson, and http://www.change.org truly made a difference for Tony and hopefully also brought more attention to the serious problem of privately owned tigers in the United States. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n80OuEA2f3w

    While the decision of Judge Caldwell in granting a permanent injunction barring the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries from issuing any future permits to Tony’s owner is a positive action for Tony, it is disappointing that the current permit was not revoked. The unhealthy and unnatural environment Tony has been subjected to for over a decade is definitely not a suitable habitat for a tiger or any animal.

    Accredited big cat sanctuaries such as Big Cat Rescue of Tampa FL and The Wildcat Sanctuary of Sandstone MN (both of which have publicly offered homes for Tony) can provide Tony with a natural habitat, medical care, proper diet, enrichment, and the peace and respect he deserves.

    We are all looking forward to when Tony will have the home, care, life and respect he deserves, and we will continue to advocate on his behalf until such action is taken.

  2. Dawn Flann

    Allen the support that you and your wife Donna have shown for Tony has been so Wonderful. Your posts, your Videos have so helped Spread the word for him, and everyone is so Thankful for this.
    We all just pray that the LDWF will somehow find it in their hearts if they hear from enough of us~To let poor Tony go before Dec. and revoke their Permit to Sandlin. Tony is in so need of Medical care, I pray he can hold on until he gets it.
    Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for caring for this Beautiful Boy xo

    • Allen Smith

      We took a lot of flack for it at times LOL You can’t worry about what others think, you just have to do what you feel is right. What we saw wasn’t right!

  3. Dawn Flann

    Yes I know you have Allen, and that is why we are all so grateful, because you stood up for what you believe is the Right thing to do. Thank you once again xo

  4. JT

    Thank you so much for all your loving work to free Tony. You are angels on earth.

  5. Sky Williamson

    Your right Allen you have to do what you think is right. Truth Matters Not At All to a Very Large Minority
    http://www.bornfreeusa.org/weblog.php?p=2463&more=1
    I’m sure you and Donna took a lot of flack off of voicing your opinion about Tony, telling people what you guys saw and your awesome videos. You did it anyway though for Tony.

    The decision of Judge Caldwell in granting a PERMANENT INJUNCTION so that the LDWF can no longer issue any future permits to Tony’s owner Michael Sandlin is a life saving and constructive action for Tony. It’s just a disgrace and offensive that the current permit was not revoked immediately. The environment Tony has been subjected to for over a decade is unquestionably not a suitable habitat for a tiger or any animal or breathing being.
    Big Cat Sanctuaries such as The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado where Sandlin’s fathers tigers are living peacefully http://www.wildanimalsanctuary.org/ and The Wildcat Sanctuary of Sandstone MN both have publicly offered a home for Tony can provide Tony with a natural habitat, medical care, proper diet, enrichment, and the peace and respect he deserves and has always deserved.
    The unity of all the tens of thousands of caring people around the world, Former State Representative Warren Triche, The ALDF and Baker & Donelson truly made a miracle come true for Tony.
    I can’t wait to see him in a different location all though because his health is so poor at this time I worry that December may be to far away without any vet care.
    We are working towards making this happen with or without Sandlin’s permission.
    Thank you to all and please keep posting the petitions from ALDF…..

  6. Karen

    Allen, thank you so much for speaking out for Tony. I am sorry you took flak, but you and Donna are good people to speak up when you see something wrong, very wrong. Tony gained many more supporters through your exposure of the his living conditions. You helped that story reach a whole new audience!
    Please keep posting the ALDF petitions in the fight to get Tony medical care and away from the truckstop.

  7. eliza howard

    Thank you Allen and Donna for all you have done for Tony. Thank you for taking a stand for him. I am hoping along with many that Tony gets out way before December.Tony needs medical care so badly.

  8. Allen Smith

    I was glad that I could play a small part in helping Tony get to a home with more of a natural environment and habitat. Hopefully, he can be moved before December, but at minimum, after 10 years in that cage, at least his time is coming. – Allen

  9. Sky Williamson

    LET’S GET TONY OUT OF THERE NOW… {COPY & PASTE PREWRITTEN LETTER}by FreeTony TheTiger on Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 5:11am

    PLEASE EMAIL, SNAIL MAIL & FAX THIS LETTER TO LOUISIANA WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES FOR TONY…. LET’S GET TONY OUT OF THERE NOW…

    ***WHO TO CONTACT***

    Robert J. Barham, Secretary

    Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

    P.O. Box 98000

    Baton Rouge, LA 70898

    Phone: (225) 765-2623

    Fax: (225) 765-2607

    E-mail: Chendrick@wlf.louisiana.gov

    Fred Kimmel (Ms. Davidson’s supervisor)

    Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

    2000 Quail Drive

    Baton Rouge, LA 70808

    Phone: (225) 765-2355

    E-mail: fkimmel@wlf.la.gov

    Bo Boehringer, LDWF Press Secretary

    225-765-5115

    bboehringer@wlf.louisiana.gov

    Main Office:

    Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

    2000 Quail Drive

    Baton Rouge, LA 70808

    Phone: (225) 765-2355

    Louisiana Department Wildlife and Fisheries

    5652 Highway 182

    Opelousas LA 70570

    Phone: (337) 948-0255

    Fax: (337) 948-0213

    —————————————————————————————————–

    Dear Mr. Robert J. Barham, Bo Boehringer, Fred Kimmel and Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries,

    We respectfully request that Secretary Barham and The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries revoke their current permit to Mr. Michael Sandlin, owner of Tony a 10 year-old tiger used as a roadside attraction at Tiger Truck Stop I-10, Exit 139 / 76740 Garner Lane Grosse Tete, Louisiana 70740 so Tony can be relocated to an accredited big cat sanctuary immediately.

    On May 6, 2011, Judge R. Michael Caldwell granted a permanent injunction barring The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries from issuing any more permits to Tony’s owner Michael Sandlin.

    While the decision is a positive action for Tony, Judge Caldwell did not immediately revoke the current permit which expires on December 14, 2011. Tony remains at the truck stop until then.

    Tony represents one of an estimated 5,000 privately owned tigers in the United States whose numbers are greater than tigers left in the wild. Captive tigers can live 15-20 years with quality care. Tony has spent over a decade on display in the unhealthy and unnatural environment of a truck stop. Tony’s health, welfare and life of are great concern to people all over the world who have come to learn of his story and support his relocation to a sanctuary.

    They {Michael Sandlin’s fathers tigers} no longer have to breathe exhaust fumes or lay in diesel fuel, and now romp and play freely in wide open habitats at The Wild Animal Sanctuary. …

    The Wild Animal Sanctuary http://www.wildanimalsanctuary.org/ has offered a permanent home for Tony. They can provide him with a natural habitat, proper diet, medical care, and enrichment that Tony needs and deserves.

    Please revoke the current LDWF permit and allow Tony to finally have the life and care he needs and deserves by releasing him to an accredited big cat sanctuary.

    Name:

    Date:

    Email:

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