The garage was being secured with a screwdriver and nylon strap.
Several packages of meat were found with the animal, KTRK reported.
Police in Houston, Texas, said that when the person called to report what they had seen on Monday, they thought the caller was hallucinating.
Some tigers are smuggled into the United States from Mexico, and there are small pockets of breeding facilities across the country.
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News of the tiger has created quite a buzz on social media, and reactions have even been curated into their own Twitter Moment titled "Overweight tiger found in abandoned U.S. home". An investigation remains ongoing.
In a statement, the Houston Zoo said it will not be able to take the tiger. "It's a handsome animal and we want it to live a happy healthy life".
Officers tranquilized the large cat, pulled it out using a wrecker and transferred it to an animal shelter.
"People think that it is fun or that it is cool to have an exotic pet", Cottingham also said yesterday, USA Today reported.
An anonymous tip from a "concerned citizen" led to the discovery of a tiger in a vacant home in Houston, Texas, on Monday. "More often than not it gets big, it gets expensive, it gets unsafe, and they end up turning the animal in or abandoning it". They are endangered - the WWF estimates there are fewer than 4,000 left in the wild.