When Cody is 14, he runs away from home, leaving behind his abusive mother, and flees across the country. He doesn't stop until he hits Texas and the Sam Houston Tiger Ranch. Under the guidance of Sunny, the ranch's owner, he cares for the animals in ways he never imagined. He feeds them a diet of raw, bloody meat. He cleans out their cages. He takes them for exercise. He finds out how to get a tiger to back down, and when he should back down himself. But there is another lesson Cody has to learn—sometimes people are harder to handle than tigers.