Apparent owner of tiger found abandoned charged with cruelty to non-livestock animal

By Megan Kennedy - Digital News Editor

The woman claiming to be the owner of a tiger found abandoned in a Houston home has been charged with cruelty to a non-livestock animal. Brittany Garza, 24, claims the tiger was never abandoned.

HOUSTON - The woman who says she is the owner of a tiger found abandoned in southwest Houston has been formally charged with cruelty to a non-livestock animal, court records show.

Brittany Marie Garza, 24, is accused of failing to leave food, water, care or shelter for the tiger, Harris County court records show. She is also accused of placing the tiger in a cage other than an enclosure appropriate for its size, records show.

Garza claims the tiger was never abandoned.

According to Houston police, the 400-pound tiger was found by a woman who had gone to the vacant Avenue J home to smoke marijuana. She waited to call authorities because she thought she was hallucinating when she saw the tiger.

A mental health evaluation was also ordered for Garza. She has a prior charge of promoting prostitution.

The tiger now resides at an animal sanctuary in North Texas.

PHOTOS: Tiger released into new habitat

Copyright 2019 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.