Mystery behind tiger found in vacant Houston home solved. One woman arrested

Posted Thursday, 16 May 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Three months since a tiger was found in a cage in a vacant home, Houston police have made an arrest on the mystery owner.Brittany Garza, 24, was taken into custody an Wednesday and charged with animal cruelty, a misdemeanor, for failing to provide water, food, care and shelter for the tiger she named "Rajah."The year- and-a-half old tiger made headlines on February 11 when it was found in a vacant house by a concerned citizen who entered the home to smoke pot. Naturally, police were suspicious of the emergency call when they first heard it."We questioned them as to whether they were under the effects of the drugs or they actually saw a tiger," Sgt. Jason Alderete of the Houston Police Department's Major Offenders, Livestock Animal Cruelty Unit told CNN affiliate KTRK.The tiger was found in a small cage that only allowed room for him to stand up and move in a circle, according to the probable cause documents. Inside the cage, there was no food or water. It was lined with hay that was soaked in urine and animal waste that the animal was left to lay on. Insects and maggots were also found in the hay. The bottom of the cage was made of plywood and only a screwdriver was pinning the cage doors closed. Officers remarked that that the living conditions for the exotic animal were "deplorable."The tiger was evaluated by a veterinarian and found to have a lack of muscle development in its hind limbs, some abrasions and hair loss, according to court documents. The vet noted that lack of muscle development is often seen in animals that are confined for long periods of time. The owner of the tiger was unknown until Garza showed up to a seizure hearing regarding the ownership of the animal. On Monday, charges against her were filed with the Harris County court.CNN affiliate KTRK was speaking to Garza on Wednesday before police arrived to arrest her. She told them she raised Rajah since he was a cub and he became too big for her to take care of."I feel like I lost my child, I think about him every day," said Garza. "He was my priority, every day, day and night feeding him." She continued to say that she had made arrangements for him to be picked up and transported to an out-of-town animal sanctuary. In the meantime, Garza said she left him in the garage of a friend's house."He was in the process of picking him up, he was supposed to pick him up the day before, but the weather was real bad and we had him in the transportation cage," said Garza. Garza's bond was set at $100 and her next court date is May 22.As for the tiger, he now resides at the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in the Texas community of Murchison, where he is one of three tigers and roughly 800 other rescued animals. CNN's Nicole Williams, Christina Maxouris and Jamiel Lynch contributed to this report.

Other articles published by CNN

Posted Friday, 24 May 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Hundreds of thousands of school students around the world walked out of class on Friday to urge their governments to take greater action in slashing greenhouse gas emissions. Climate protests are planned in more than 1600 towns in over 125 countries ...

Posted Friday, 24 May 2019 ‐ CNN

CNN national security analyst John Kirby, a retired rear admiral in the US Navy, was a spokesman for both the State and Defense Departments in the Obama administration. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion articles...

Posted Friday, 24 May 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)There's a major shake-up this morning on the world stage. Let's get right to that and what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. ...

Posted Friday, 24 May 2019 ‐ CNN

Luke McGee is a senior producer at CNN based in London.London (CNN)Brexit has destroyed another British Prime Minister.Three years after voters in the UK mandated their government to take Britain out of the European Union, Theresa May's failure to do so...

Posted Friday, 24 May 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)While "Medicare for all" quickly became one of the top policy issues of the 2020 race for the Democratic presidential nomination, polling doesn't show a clear preference for a government-run health care program over the current system.Many Americans ...

Posted Friday, 24 May 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)"One man's food is another man's poison." - Lucretius (99-55 B.C.)Most people have this basic understanding of genetics: You inherit genes from your parents, and their DNA combines to create your unique genetic makeup. This can include more obvious ...

Posted Friday, 24 May 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)England's rugby sevens players have a secret weapon, but to find it they have to dig deep.It lies at the end of a grueling fitness regime which involves recreating the state of utter exhaustion the body experiences in the "death zone," a term used...

Posted Friday, 24 May 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Among the heavily trafficked streets of Atlanta, a massive urban food forest is growing to provide fresh produce for the public. But what exactly is a food forest?In the fight against food deserts -- low income areas that lack access to fresh, whole ...

Posted Friday, 24 May 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Jayme Closs' relatives spent three months agonizing over the Wisconsin teenager's whereabouts before she escaped from the man who'd gunned down her parents and imprisoned her in a remote cabin. On Friday, they'll spend a few hours facing Jake...

Posted Friday, 24 May 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Bullying is many things: teasing, name-calling, stereotyping, fighting, exclusion, spreading rumors, public shaming and aggressive intimidation. It can be in real life (IRL) or online. During the 2017-18 school year, 7 in 50 public high school...

Posted Friday, 24 May 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Americans have struggled with the many food labels and their meanings for years. Sell by, best by and best if used by -- what are the differences? Now, the Food and Drug Administration wants to make it a little easier. In a new guidance issued...

Posted Friday, 24 May 2019 ‐ CNN

London (CNN Business)1. Oil watch: Investors will be keeping a close eye on oil Friday after it suffered its worst day since Christmas Eve on Thursday.After starting the day above $61, US oil prices nosedived nearly 6%...

Posted Friday, 24 May 2019 ‐ CNN

Hong Kong (CNN Business)Another US tech giant is distancing itself from Huawei. Microsoft (MSFT) has removed the Chinese company's laptops from its online store. A search on Friday for "Huawei" returned no results for any devices, and links to the latest ...

Posted Friday, 24 May 2019 ‐ CNN

London (CNN)UK Prime Minister Theresa May has announced her resignation, finally bowing to intense political pressure over the failure to deliver her signature policy -- Britain's withdrawal from the European Union.May said Friday she would quit as...

Posted Friday, 24 May 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Attorneys representing claims against Harvey Weinstein, his company and former associates have reached a $44 million settlement to resolve civil lawsuits over his alleged sexual misconduct.The attorneys told a Delaware bankruptcy judge Thursday they ...