They were in the house to smoke pot -- they found a tiger instead

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HOUSTON (KKTV) - They were in the house to smoke marijuana -- but this was no drug trip.

Photo: KHOU

It really was a tiger inside the vacant home.

"We questioned them as to whether they were actually under the effects of the drugs, or they actually saw a tiger," said Sgt. Jason Alderete of the Houston Police Major Offender 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.

Sister station KHOU reports Tyson's living conditions were not good.

"He’s in a rinky-dink cage that could easily bust open. It was secured with a nylon strap and a screwdriver for the top of the cage. He could have gone on a rampage in the city ... anything could have happened!” Alderete said.

The cage was described as small, dark and stinking of urine.

"The tiger was very thirsty, so we gave him some water," said Jarrad Mears with Houston animal shelter BARC.

Other than dehydration, the tiger appeared to be in good health. It is now on its way to an undisclosed animal sanctuary while officers try to find its owner.

While it's legal to own a tiger in Texas if the owner has a wild game permit, it's not permitted in Houston. If the owner is ever located, she or he faces stiff fines.

Recreational marijuana use is illegal in Texas.