January 13, 2011 | By: Tracy

Sometimes the Worst Villains Exist in Real Life

I normally don't use my blog to champion causes other than writing & the pursuit of publishing happiness.

But today I'm making an exception.

Animal Cruelty, in all its forms, is one of the problems I despise most in this world. Like child abuse, I don't feel there's any excuse for a person to lord their control over another creature who's unable to speak up for themselves. 

Sadly, there are a lot of instances we're never made aware of & can do nothing to help fight . . . this is one we can -- and it costs nothing more than a tweet, or a blog post, or a forwarded email.

Tony is a 10 year old tiger who has spent every day of his life stuck in a small cage outside a truck stop in Louisiana. 

It's not a wildlife sanctuary. 

It's not a zoo. 

It's a cage at a truck stop.

Imagine forcing a child  to live 10 years of their life in an area no larger than a playpen. All so someone can use them as a sideshow attraction to earn money.

Big Cat Rescue in Tampa has offered to give Tony a home where he can live the second half of his life in peace & quiet. But of course, the owner wants nothing to do with that, because he's too busy exploiting the tiger for his own gain. 

Every year or so, he applies for a new permit to keep an exotic wild animal in a public area . . . and inexplicably every year or so, that permit is renewed. It's renewed, because not enough people are aware of what's going on. There hasn't been enough public pressure, fighting for the rights of the one who doesn't have a say in all this.

The reason I'm mentioning this here is because I've seen what this community can do when it puts its mind to it. I've seen it support debut authors to wonderful starting sales. I've seen it rally around sick and hurting members of the community. I've seen it take on unethical magazine editors and shady literary agencies. 

I don't expect Tony's cause to become a huge concern plastered on everyone's blogs, but if even a few of you are moved enough by his situation to post about his story or tweet about his website, then Tony's situation is brought to the attention of a few more people than yesterday. And hopefully tomorrow, those people will spread it on to a few more people . . . and so on and so forth. 

And maybe one day, Tony will get his freedom. 

Maybe one day he'll get to enjoy what it's like to lay in the grass and hear the sounds of other tigers nearby. 

Maybe one day, Tony will get to know what it feels like to be a tiger.

10 witty remarks:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your post about Tony. Despite the pleas of people worldwide objecting to the permit renewal, and the support of such organizations as Big Cat Rescue of Tampa FL, The Animal Legal Defense Fund, The World Society For The Protection of Animals and www.change.org , the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries renewed their permit to Tony’s owner on December 14, 2010 allowing him to keep and display Tony at the truck stop. With the recent permit renewal, many may believe the fight for Tony's relocation to an accredited big cat sanctuary is over - by all means it is not. This permit must be renewed each year. As you wrote in your article, it is very important to keep Tony’s story networked so it remains visible and so that more people learn of Tony’s plight and support his release from the truck stop. Yesterday a tweet by “FreeTonyTiger” on Twitter was retweeted by The Ian Somerhalder Foundation and Ian Somerhalder. It resulted in many new followers for Tony and hopefully more learned of the serious problem of privately owned tigers in the United States who numbers exceed tigers left in the wild. Those of us who support Tony’s relocation to a sanctuary will continue to be advocates for him and for the home and life he deserves.

Kindros said...

I don't understand how people can be so cruel either. Terrible stuff, more attention does need to be brought to things like this.

Colene Murphy said...

I adore the big cat rescue we have up here. It's my favorite part of Arkansas I think. They do such good things. But this is just another reminder of how much more there is to do. And how horrible things still are for such wonderful, beautiful animals that deserve so much better...this made me teary...:(

LTM said...

O.M.G.!!!! This is appalling. I'm disgusted by this, and I will definitely head over and sign up at the website. Thanks, Tracy~ :o| <3

Cynthia said...

Tracy, if you don't mind I'd like to mention your blog about this and link it to mind. Very well said!

Chris Phillips said...

What is the local support for this issue? In an issue like this, in a state like this, that is all that is going to matter. If there were locals protesting outside of the ldwf, they would do something.

Matthew Rush said...

How can that possibly be legal?

Shannon O'Donnell said...

*huge, quivering sigh*

My heart hurts!

Christopher said...

How do they even get a permit for that? Don't the cops ever say, what the hell theres a damn tiger at the truck stop?

that's madness

Tracy said...

Thanks, Everyone! Glad to see I'm not the only one who was heartbroken and angry to see this.

Chris -- I think the problem is that Louisiana has been through so much the past several years, with Hurricane Katrina and most recently the BP oil disaster that they're all just trying to take care of their own business right now.

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