The garage was being secured with a screwdriver and nylon strap.
The tiger was insufficiently housed and left alone, but police said it was well-fed and appeared to be healthy.
The female tiger was found in a cage with several packets of meat.
Sergeant Jason Alderete told KTRK-TV the tipsters went to the house to smoke marijuana when they found the animal. Officials said the tiger will be taken to another facility, where it will stay permanently, Tuesday.
She was friendly, police said, but she was tranquilised for safety reasons as they moved her from the home over to BARC's headquarters.
It wasn't immediately clear who the tiger belonged to. Police did not confirm if an owner had been identified.
Lara Cottingham, Houston city's chief sustainability officer, told KPRC-TV the tiger was found "in a pretty small cage inside.a house that didn't look like it was in the best shape". "It's a handsome animal and we want it to live a happy healthy life".
And that's because tigers don't make for great pets, Krahn said.
Investigators said it is legal to own a tiger in Texas with the proper wildlife permits, but it is not legal to keep such an animal in the city of Houston. "More often than not it gets big, it gets expensive, it gets risky, and they end up turning the animal in or abandoning it".
The Houston Zoo said it will not be able to take the tiger.
"Fewer than 3,500 tigers of all tiger subspecies remain in the wild today, according to the Tiger Conservation Campaign".