Attorneys representing Michael Sandlin, who owns Tony, a 550-pound Bengal tiger residing at Sandlin's Tiger Truck Stop, argued before a three-judge 1st Circuit Court of Appeal panel yesterday to keep Tony where he is, despite arguments from the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF).
Sandlin's attorney Jennifer Treadway Morris argued that state District Judge Mike Caldwell was not allowed to deny the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) from issuing Sandlin a new permit to keep Tony in 2011. When the department didn't enforce Caldwell's ruling, the ALDF filed another suit to prompt the department to take action and remove the tiger from Caldwell's custody. (The department has since said it would not take action until litigation ended.) At yesterday's hearing, however, the department argued that the ALDF had no legal standing to sue the department.
ALDF attorney Brandy Sheely argued that Tony's health and safety (and the public's) interfered with the ruling, and referred to LWDF rules stating that big cat permits must be issued to an individual (not Tiger Truck Stop, a business) and that the owner must live there. (Sandlin also has filed a suit against the state to overturn its ban on big cat ownership — current law, which went into effect August 2006, allows exotic cats as pets if owned before then.) For now, the groups expect a decision in the appeal case in the coming months, while Tony remains at the truck stop.
"As this is going on Tony is still living at the truck stop, day in and day out," said ALDF communications director Lisa Franzetta. "At this point we’re confident the law is on our side. ... The law says Sandlin can’t have Tony at the truck stop. It's just legal delay tactics that keep the process going."
Pending a conclusion to the years-long legal tug of war, and if the state rules that Tony has been kept illegally at the truck stop, Tony will not live with another private owner in Louisiana, as the state outlaws big cat ownership. It's likely he will leave Louisiana, as there are no fitting sanctuaries in the state. "ALDF’s hope is for the best possible outcome for Tony — that he goes to an accredited big cat sanctuary where he can live out his life in a habitat appropriate for a tiger, with his own welfare and quality of life as the first priority," Franzetta said.
While many Christians will make a pledge today to give up an indulgence — chocolate, alcohol, meat, entertainment — for Lent leading up to Easter, 12-year-old Ethan Carroll is giving up his time instead to collect necessities for Louisiana’s largest not-for-profit no-kill animal shelter.
It’s the fourth year for Ethan Carroll’s Lent Project. He’ll collect pet food, blankets, pet toys, cleaning supplies and more to deliver to the St. Tammany Humane Society after Easter. Ethan and his father, Tim Carroll, will pick up donations in the Greater New Orleans area (call 504-655-1381 or email email@example.com). Since beginning the project, Ethan, a seventh grader at St. Andrew the Apostle School and a musical theater student at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, has found support among individuals, businesses and schools.
So how does a young boy decide on such an undertaking?
His mother Laura Carroll, operations and events director at Gambit, says her son didn’t have any vices or indulgences, since he wasn’t particularly fond of chocolate or soft drinks, so giving up something he didn’t care about for Lent would have been meaningless. He wanted to do something that would make a difference. Because he had to give up his dog, Sapphire, to a shelter, Ethan wanted to make sure the humane society had what it needed to care for his dog and the other animals there.
In the absence of theater writer Dalt Wonk, I was going to review the return of The Amazing Acro-Cats "Meowy Christmas" Show last night at the Shadowbox Theatre, but the sight of a groundhog in a Santa hat pushing a bowling ball left me temporarily mute.
Besides cats and the Santa groundhog, there were rats, an elderly dog in a tutu and a cymbal-playing chicken named Gregory Peck.
Champ Superstar's Twitter stream during the show said it better than I ever could. Here, in a few tweets, you will begin to understand the wonder and magic that is the Acro-Cats.
Companionable, attentive and incapable of repeating any foolishness you might spout as the evening ticks on, a dog can make an ideal drinking buddy. Alas, we can’t always bring our dogs out with us for a night on the town. But at an event coming up this Saturday, we can all hoist a few cold ones in their honor, and for the benefit of the dogs, cats, horses and other local animals in need of care.
The New Orleans on Tap Beer Festival returns to City Park on Nov. 10, a new date after it was rained out from its originally-planned September slot. It’s from noon to 5 p.m.
Organized by the local Bulldog taverns and the Louisiana SCPA, which is its beneficiary, and sponsored by Abita Brewing, the event features some 200 beers poured at booths arrayed around the Boathouse at City Park’s Big Lake.
Companionable, attentive and incapable of repeating any foolishness you might spout as the evening ticks on, a dog can make an ideal drinking buddy. Alas, we can’t always bring our dogs out with us for a night on the town. But at an event coming up this week, we can all hoist a few cold ones in their honor, and for their benefit, along with the cats, horses and other local animals in need of care.
The New Orleans on Tap Beer Festival returns Sept. 29, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. in City Park. Organized by the local Bulldog taverns and the Louisiana SCPA, which is its beneficiary, and sponsored by Abita Brewing, the event features some 200 beers poured at booths arrayed around the Boathouse at City Park’s Big Lake.
In anticipation of Hurricane Isaac, the Louisiana SPCA (which serves as the city's animal shelter and animal control) moved 87 cats and 56 dogs to shelters in Texas, and 35 dogs (and one cat) were transported to St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center in New Jersey.
The SPCA of Texas posted a photo gallery of Isaac-affected animals arriving at its shelter, and the national SPCA has kept a blog with updates about Gulf Coast pets (the Texas shelters reported dozens of adoptions following the arrival of the LA/SPCA animals).
The staff on-site at the Algiers shelter is caring for 100 animals, but the shelter is closed to the public until power is restored. LA/SPCA officials will announce when it can reopen — it currently only is responding to emergencies. If you see an animal-related emergency, call animal control at 504-368-5191 ext. 100 and leave a detailed message including name, address, contact information and details of the situation. A dispatcher is on duty manning calls. SPCA communications director Jennifer Albrecht says they're hoping to be up and running as early as next week, much like the rest of the city.
The second accompanied installment of Public Transit Tuesdays brings us from City Park to Audubon Zoo on the Leonidas bus, passing through Hollygrove, Pigeon Town and Gert Town, proving to be a fine continuation of my Uptown education which began years ago when I was a student at Lusher Extension. This bus adventure opens with difficult questions: How do you pronounce "Leonidas" anyway? What are the boundaries of these neighborhoods? Good thing my bus buddy and best friend Jenny who was raised in all three neighborhoods was there to help answer them...
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