Police received a call from an individual who entered an abandoned home with the intent to smoke marijuana. The individual says he discovered an abandoned tiger once inside the home. Once sure the call was credible, the Houston Police Department dispatched members of the Livestock Animal Cruelty Unit. Once offers arrived on the scene, they found the 350-pound tiger.
The home was abandoned and there were several packages of meat within reach of the tiger. The cage holding the tiger was too small and not sturdy enough to contain an animal of such size.
Seargent Jason Alderete explains there were thoughts at first the call by the concerned citizen was a prank. The next thought, Sgt. Alderete says, was the person may already be under the influence of marijuana. However, the caller was adamant that a tiger was present in the abandoned building.
According to wavy.com, the Animal Cruelty Unit obtained a warrant to search the building and found the tiger in bad condition. The female tiger appeared friendly but was tranquilized as a safety precaution. The tiger was then moved to the headquarters of BARC headquarters.
A spokesperson for BARC, Laura Cottingham, says the tiger will soon be transported to a more suitable short-term facility. Cottingham went on to explain it is not easy to find a permanent home for animals such as tigers. She says she currently has six exotic animals in her care and pays about a million dollars annually to care for them.
Cottingham explains most people have no idea how difficult it is to care for these animals. She tells people it is like having a child but with no possibility of purchasing insurance.
Cottingham says these animals are often smuggled into the country from Mexico. She also explains there are small breeding farms in multiple locations across the U.S.
It is not cAear at this time if the owner of the home will face charges but the case is under investigation by HPD.