By Clarissa Kell-Holland, Land Line staff writer
A legal battle has been going on for years over where “Tony the Tiger” should live. But for now, the Louisiana Court of Appeals has ruled that Tony will remain at the Tiger Truck Stop in Gross Tete, LA, which he has called home for the past 10 years.
In May, a judge in 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, preventing the department from issuing an annual permit for Tony to live at the truck stop. In December 2010, he was scheduled to be moved to a big cat sanctuary.
However, the decision was overturned in late August after the Louisiana Court of Appeals ruled that Tony’s owner, Michael Sandlin, and the Tiger Truck Stop are necessary parties to the ALDF’s lawsuit, and ordered a new trial.
“All we have is what’s in the decision, so I can’t say why the Court of Appeals ruled the way it did, other than it thought Mr. Sandlin and the truck stop were necessary to the case,” ALDF attorney Matthew Liebman told Land Line on Thursday, Sept. 1.
“We did not include them originally because, as we see it, this case is about whether the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries had the authority to issue the permit,” Liebman said.
For now, the matter is “remanded for further proceedings” until the ALDF can amend its complaint.
“We are confident that the trial court got the law right the first time around and will rule the same when we go through it again with Mr. Sandlin and the Tiger Truck Stop as parties,” the ALDF release stated.
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