The wild animal was first discovered by two people who entered the almost vacant house looking for a place to smoke marijuana, KHOU-TV reported officials as saying.
"There were going to this vacant house to smoke marijuana, and they were greeted by a large tiger", said Sgt. Jason Alderete with the animal cruelty unit.
Animal law enforcement nicknamed the big cat "Tyson" in honor of the movie "The Hangover", where the characters found a tiger in their hotel room after a particularly wild night of drinking.
The tiger was at the BARC Animal Shelter and Adoptions and would be shifted to another facility Tuesday.
"He's in a rinky-dink cage that could easily bust open".
The city of Houston doesn't get many calls like the one it received Monday. "Very, very rarely do we take in a tiger".
An anonymous tipster discovered the 1,000-pound tiger illegally held in a residential home, according to Houston's KTRK-TV. It is also unclear who owns the house and what charges, if any, will be filed. According to Houston Police Department, the person who made the tip initially believed themselves to be hallucinating, which I guess only makes sense.
He noted several packages of meat were found at the house.
Houston Zoo said in a statement that it would not be able to take the tiger.
The shelter has been in communication with the county, working to find a new home for the tiger. They are endangered - the WWF estimates there are fewer than 4,000 left in the wild.
"They can be extremely risky".
Cottingham noted that this Houston tiger's story has happy ending with its upgrade from a garage cage to the sanctuary in Murchison, Texas, which comes with expert care.