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Stop Cruelly Keeping Wild Animals Captive at Truck Stop
Target: Jack Montoucet, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
Goal: Prohibit “The Tiger Truck Stop” from owning and displaying wild animals, and ensure that the young camel currently being held there is released to a sanctuary.
A truck stop off Interstate 10 in Louisiana became known as The Tiger Truck Stop because it kept Tony the tiger captive in a cage for years, languishing in the diesel fumes and heat for the amusement of tourists before he tragically died of kidney failure. Now, a five-month-old camel named Caspar has taken Tony’s place in these inhumane and brutal conditions. The owner of the truck stop, Michael Sandlin, says he plans to imprison still more animals this way, hoping to acquire crocodiles, goats, and even another tiger.
Private ownership of big cats has been illegal in Louisiana for over 10 years, but the governor agreed to exempt Sandlin—and only Sandlin—from this law. The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed a lawsuit stating that this is against the state’s constitution, which forbids laws that are passed to benefit only specific people or special interests. However, Sandlin is fighting these efforts with a counter-suit, and is still allowed to keep animals in these abusive conditions for the sake of entertainment, attracting tourists, and profit. Sign below to demand that The Tiger Truck Stop no longer be allowed to imprison these animals, and that Caspar the camel be rescued immediately.
Dear Secretary Montoucet,
A truck stop adjacent to a busy interstate is no place for wild animals. At The Tiger Truck Stop, Tony the tiger suffered for years in a cage, enduring harassment from tourists, extreme heat, and breathing in diesel fumes. Despite activists’ attempts to save Tony and relocate him to sanctuary, the poor animal died of kidney failure before he could be freed. Now, an innocent baby camel named Caspar may face the same fate as he has taken Tony’s place at The Tiger Truck Stop.
Tony never should have been allowed to be confined at the truck stop in the first place. As the lawsuit filed by the Animal Legal Defense Fund rightly points out, your state has a ban on private ownership of big cats, and the exception made for the truck stop’s owner, Michael Sandlin, is unlawful. Louisiana’s constitution prohibits laws made for the benefit of special interests or specific individuals. However, Sandlin not only contests this, but expressed a desire to obtain even more animals—crocodiles, goats, and another tiger—and keep them at the truck stop. It is your responsibility to protect these animals from a life of suffering. I urge you to prevent Sandlin and The Tiger Truck Stop from keeping more animals captive, and to ensure that Caspar the camel is released from his confinement and moved to a sanctuary.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Hillary Scheinuk, Advocate Staff
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