HOUSTON – A child endangerment charge was dismissed Thursday against a Cypress woman accused of having a tiger and other exotic animals in her home with her 14-year-old daughter, her attorney said.
Trisha Denise Meyer, 34, appeared in court on Thursday. Her attorney, Penny Wymyzzak-White, said Meyer pleaded guilty to a theft charge and received two years deferred adjudication. Meyer has paid restitution to one person involved, Wymyzzak-White said.
Wymyzzak-White said Meyer will get the animals back and can keep them as long as she complies with the law.
Meyer spoke after her court appearance, saying that she was relieved to have her life back.
"It’s been a nightmare for my kids and I because I’ve been portrayed in the media as having had a mountain lion in the house, tigers in the house, foxes, skunks all loose together, which has never happened,” Meyer said. "It’s just been a nightmare trying to prove my innocence.”
Police were sent to investigate Meyer's home in November after she was accused of trying to sell a kitten to a man in California for $3,000, but not giving him the kitten after receiving the money.
Houston police said officers found several wild animals roaming freely inside Meyer’s home, including three tigers, a cougar, a skunk and a fox, police said. Police also said Meyer’s 14-year-old daughter was in the home.
Meyer said in a previous interview that when police were at her home, they were excited to see the tiger and took pictures with it.
"The Houston police took selfies with my tiger. They handed me their cellphones and were asking me to take their pictures. (They) knelt down on their knees in front of my tiger, posing with my tiger," she said.
Houston police said Meyer also told officers that she had several monkeys, which can be vicious and previously attacked someone.
Meyer maintains that child endangerment was never an issue.
"The only time police ever saw my animals, they came over and they played with them, they took pictures. It was supposed to be a happy, positive thing,” she said. “If there had been child endangerment, the police would have been just as guilty.”
Police said she had permits for the tigers, but none for the skunks and foxes.
Meyer was arrested Nov. 7 in Pahrump, Nevada, where she was accused of keeping three tigers in the backyard, as well as eight monkeys inside a house.