Man faces animal cruelty charges after allegedly abandoning pet fish

Generic photo of an Oscar fish. (Source: Shutterstock/Maksimee)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WTHR) - A North Carolina man was arrested on animal cruelty charges after he allegedly abandoned his pet fish.

According to police, Michael Ray Hinson, 53, failed to provide fresh water and food to his pet fish and abandoned it after he was evicted from his home last month.

He was charged with three counts of misdemeanor cruelty to animals and one count of abandonment of an animal, WECT reported.

According to New Hanover County Sheriff's Office, Hinson was evicted from his home on Friday, March 22.

Deputies found Hinson's Oscar fish in a tank that was left behind. According to them, the fish was in poor health and swimming in dirty water.

When deputies seized the fish, it appeared to be malnourished and suffering from hole in the head disease which is caused by poor water quality and lack of food, WECT reported.

Oscar fish can grow up to 16 inches in size and are trainable.