North Carolina man, Michael Ray Hinson charged with animal cruelty after abandoning his $40 pet valued fish after he was evicted from his home last month.
Michael Ray Hinson, 53, was arrested Wednesday in New Hanover County and booked on three counts of misdemeanor cruelty to animals and one count of abandonment of an animal, WECT reported.
Police said Hinson was evicted from his home March 22. Upon officials going to the residence Wednesday they discovered the abandoned Oscar fish. The fish is understood to be valued at between $40-$50.
A spokesperson for New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office said officers seized the fish – noting it was malnourished and swimming in a filthy tank.
‘This is a life just like any dog or cat,’ Lt. Jerry Brewer said via WECT. ‘If you harm or neglect an animal in New Hanover County, we are coming for you.’
Michael Ray Hinson pet fish said to be suffering hole in head syndrome after being abandoned.
The pet was brought to the Fish Room in Wilmington, where it is receiving treatment for a potentially fatal disease. The disease, known as ‘hole in head’ syndrome is reportedly caused by poor water quality and lack of food.
‘When this fish came in, he was in pretty bad shape. Hole in the head is a parasite that starts in the intestines and works from the inside out, slowly killing the fish,’ Ethan Lane of the Fish Room told WECT.
When the fish is better it will be put up for adoption by Animal Services.
Hinson was released from jail Wednesday on $4,000 bond. It remains unclear if the man plans to buy a new fish.