Man charged with animal cruelty after abandoning fish

A North Carolina man was charged with animal cruelty after investigators found an emaciated, diseased fish swimming in a dirty tank that was left behind when he was evicted.

>> Read more trending news

Michael Hinson, 53, was evicted from his home in New Hanover County last month and left behind an oscar fish that was malnourished and swimming in a dirty tank. The fish was also suffering from hole in the head disease, a parasite that can be found when water quality is poor. The fish is rehabilitating at a local aquarium store.

Hinson was arrested and charged with three counts of animal cruelty and abandonment of an animal.

Investigators said this is the first time someone in the county has been charged with animal cruelty from mistreating a pet fish.

"This is a life just like any dog or cat," Lt. Jerry Brewer, spokesperson for the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office, told WECT. "If you harm or neglect an animal in New Hanover County, we are coming for you."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

About the Author