Owner of tiger found in abandoned Houston house charged

HOUSTON (AP) — The ex-owner of a tiger rescued from a filthy cage in an abandoned house in Houston has been charged with animal cruelty.

Houston police Wednesday arrested 24-year-old Brittany Garza on the misdemeanor count involving a non-livestock animal. She’s free on $100 bond. An attorney for Garza, Jay Cohen, declined comment Thursday.

The Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison has cared for the 350-pound (22.68-kilogram) tiger since it was found in February by people entering the house to smoke marijuana.

A judge in April ruled the sanctuary, located 70 miles (112.65 kilometers) southeast of Dallas, can keep the tiger and that Garza must pay nearly $12,000 for the animal’s care.

The shelter is doing an online poll to name the tiger. The choices are Ezekiel, George, Loki (LOH’-kee) or Navi.

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