Charges dropped against Wilmington man accused of abandoning pet fish.

WILMINGTON, NC (WITN) - Charges have been dismissed against a Wilmington man accused of abandoning his pet fish.

Fifty-three-year-old Michael Hinson was taken into custody last week and charged with three counts of misdemeanor cruelty to animals and one count of abandonment of an animal.

The arrest and charges happened after Hinson allegedly abandoned his pet Oscar fish while being evicted from his home.

Three days later, deputies found the fish, which was in poor health, suffering from "hole in the head" disease, and swimming in a dirty tank.

However, the district attorney said since fish are not protected under the law in regards to animal abuse, all charges against Hinson have been dismissed.

The Oscar fish was taken to the Fish Room where it will be put up for adoption by animal services after it is nursed back to health.

PREVIOUS STORY:

A New Hanover County man faces animal cruelty charges after he allegedly abandoned a pet fish after he was evicted from his home last month.

Michael Ray Hinson, 53, was charged Wednesday with three counts of misdemeanor cruelty to animals and one count of abandonment of an animal. He was released on a $4,000 unsecured bond.

The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office said Hinson was evicted on March 22, and when deputies went to the home a few days later, they found he had left behind an Oscar fish that was in poor health and swimming in a dirty tank.