Tiger owner arrested for leaving wild cat caged at vacant Houston house

HOUSTON, Texas -- Houston police arrested the former owner of a tiger, Brittany Garza, outside her northeast Houston home Wednesday. She's facing animal cruelty charges.

It's been three months since her tiger was found in a southwest Houston garage.

ABC7's sister station ABC13 talked with Garza just before she was taken into custody. "I feel like I lost my child, I think about him everyday," Garza said.

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Garza said she raised the tiger, whom she called "Rajah" since he was a cub.

Garza said, "He was my priority, every day, day and night feeding him."

Once Rajah started getting big, she knew it was time to find him a new place to live.

Garza made arrangements with a sanctuary in College Station and put the animal inside a friend's home until the transfer could be made. But someone else found the tiger in the garage before he could be moved.

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"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," Garza said. "It started raining, we put him in the garage and then everybody else found him before we got to him."

Garza's mother, Angela Perez, says, "He didn't live in that cage, that wasn't where he lived, that's not where he ate."

The tiger was eventually taken to Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch where he'll live the rest of his life.

Garza had a bond set for $100. She says, "I'm willing to face the consequences, even though he's never been cruelly treated and he's always had food and water."
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