A Cypress woman who vanished after police found a menagerie of exotic animals at her home was trying to get permission to keep her tigers in Nevada, according to authorities there.
Nye County sheriff’s deputies say Trisha Meyer had already applied for a permit to keep tigers in Nye County. At the time, she told them the tigers were still in Texas.
When someone called the sheriff to report tigers were roaming loose in Meyer’s backyard, they sent a deputy to the scene. He found Meyer’s 17-year-old son in the yard with the loose tigers as they fed on raw chicken. They found eight monkeys inside the house.
Deputies confirmed Meyer was wanted in Harris County and arrested her.
Meyer’s neighbors in northwest Harris County first alerted authorities about the “three-ring circus” that moved into their community back in September.
Houston Police Department’s Major Offenders Animal Cruelty Division and a Texas Game Warden showed up to the house in the 11000 block of Cypresswood Drive. Meyer was charged with endangering a child because Houston police say they found her 14-year-old daughter home with tigers, monkeys, a cougar, a fox and a skunk.
Neighbors say several children lived in the home.
Meyer was given several citations and told to report to court the next day. She never showed.
“We didn’t have any record of these animals being permitted,” said Corey Steele with Harris Co. Public Health. “These animals are large, and they’re dangerous. We don’t want the public to be able to have these animals.”
Tigers are among several “dangerous wild animals” legal to own as pets in unincorporated Harris County, as long as they are properly registered.
The animals must be kept in an enclosure and have to be at least 1,000 feet away from homes and schools.
Investigators said Meyer did not meet those requirements and was keeping the animals dangerously close to other residences. There’s also an elementary school less than a half mile away.
“It’s not safe. It really isn’t. That’s what concerns us. These animals may be friendly and cute, but they can act out,” Steele said.
According to the Nye County Sheriff’s Office, a number of Meyer’s animals were seized during her arrest in Nevada and are now in the custody of animal control officers there.
It’s unclear where those children are, but Child Protective Services told KHOU 11 News that it had no record of being involved with the family.
(© 2016 KHOU)