According to Fox News, a man from North Carolina is being charged with abusing a fish after he left the fish behind in his apartment when he was evicted on March 22nd. It's the first case of its kind in New Hanover County.
Michael Ray Hinson was charged with three counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty to a fish, and one count of abandonment of an animal. The 53-year-old man allegedly abandoned his 6-inch-long Oscar fish, worth $40-$50,
and the 1-year-old fish was found on March 25 swimming in a dirty tank. It was suffering from head and lateral line erosion, or “hole-in-the-head” disease. The pet was removed and turned over to the Wilmington pet shop The Fish Room, where it is currently being rehabilitated.
“It came in with a disease, hole in the head, which is a parasite that is caused by poor water quality and malnutrition,” employee Ethan Lane explained. “It was a pretty severe case of the disease, which opens sores and lesions on the fish’s head. It is an infection that can be fatal.” Lane said that the fish had survived on cockroaches that fell into its tank after it had been abandoned.
Hinson was released from jail on a $4,000 unsecured bond. No word on how he was able to raise the money after being evicted. He faces a maximum 1 year in jail and a court-determined fine for misdemeanor animal cruelty in North Carolina.