Off the hook: Prosecutors dismiss charges against NC man accused of abandoning his pet fish

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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – The New Hanover County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday that charges against a Wilmington man accused of abandoning his pet fish have been dismissed.

“We take a very dim view of anyone who would abuse any creature great or small and appreciate [The Animal Services Division’s] enforcement of the laws to protect vulnerable animals,” District Attorney Ben David said in a news release. “Fish are not protected under these statues, therefore all charges against Mr. Hinson are dismissed.”

Michael Hinson, 53, was taken into custody last week and charged with three counts of misdemeanor cruelty to animals and one count of abandonment of an animal after he allegedly abandoned his pet Oscar fish while being evicted from his home on Two Chopt Road in March.

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.

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.

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