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Houston Seeks 'Forever Home' for Tiger Found by Pot Smoker

Big cat was found in 'rinky-dink' cage in abandoned home
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2019 8:16 AM CST
Not a hallucination in Texas.   (Getty Images/greenleaf123)

(Newser) – All's well that ends well, though the outcome at an abandoned Texas home could've been a lot different. Per KTRK, authorities say someone busted into the Houston abode earlier this month so they could smoke some pot and found something rather unexpected: a large tiger in an unlocked "rinky-dink" cage, per Click2Houston. The cage was kept in a garage that was held closed only with a nylon strap and a screwdriver, police say. The "concerned citizen" called 311 to report the big cat, and "we questioned them as to whether they were under the effects of the drugs or they actually saw a tiger," a sergeant with the Houston Police Department's animal cruelty unit tells KTRK. Cops converged on the home Monday with a warrant and did indeed find the tiger, who they say was living in "deplorable" conditions, with a few packages of meat left alongside her.

The tiger was said to be good-natured and generally healthy, but police tranquilized her so they could move her to a nearby animal shelter for now; unfortunately, the Houston Zoo can't accommodate her. "Finding a forever home for a tiger is not easy," an animal research expert says. A rep for Houston's Administration and Regulatory Affairs Department says that although the city usually deals with "puppies and kittens," it's not the first time they've picked up a tiger. "People think that it is fun or that it is cool to have an exotic pet," says Lara Cottingham. "More often than not it gets big, it gets expensive, it gets dangerous, and they end up turning the animal in or abandoning it." CBS News notes it's legal to own a tiger in Texas with the proper permit, but not in Houston. Police are investigating who owns the home and whether charges will be brought. (Read more strange stuff stories.)

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