HOUSTON – A judge has ruled that an animal shelter can keep a tiger that was rescued from an abandoned Houston home.
The Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison has looked after the tiger since February, when some people entered the house to smoke marijuana and found the big cat.
Officials at the rescue say the tiger is doing well and they plan on naming him once receiving ownership.
“This handsome boy continues to show affection to his caregivers, and has been enjoying his nutritionally balanced diet. Just yesterday, his caregivers took these photos during a play session with his ball. By the end, he was napping with his new toy,” said the rescue on Facebook on March 3.
Authorities say the 350-pound tiger was improperly secured in a small cage kept shut with a nylon strap and screwdriver, and was sitting on hay and its own waste.
Houston police believe Brittany Garza is the tiger’s owner and have filed a civil lawsuit accusing her of animal cruelty. She refuses to explain how she obtained the tiger.
The Houston Chronicle reports that the judge ordered Garza to pay about $11,600 to cover the cost of the tiger’s care.