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Fish and Ponds Fish Stories

Man Charged with Animal Cruelty for Leaving Fish Behind

oscar fish

A big round of applause to North Carolina for filing animal abuse charges against a man who abandoned a pet Oscar fish.

Michael Ray Hinson, 53, was charged with 3 counts of “Cruelty to Animals” and 1 count of “Abandonment of An Animal” after his fish was found starving in deplorable water conditions.

The filthy water and lack of food resulted in “Hole in the head” disease. This condition is caused by a parasite that lives in the fish’s intestines and slowly kills the fish by causing skin lesions, which allows bacteria to build up in the skin.

Hinson was taken into custody and detained on a $4,000 unsecured bond.

“This is a life just like any dog or cat,’ Lt. Jerry Brewer told Daily Mail UK. ‘If you harm or neglect an animal in New Hanover County, we are coming for you.”

New Hanover Police took the fish to the Fish Room, a local aquarium, where he is being nursed back to health. The one year old fish is expected to recover.

About Oscar Fish

Oscars (Astronotus ocellatus) are a species of cichlid that is native to South America and usually found in the Amazon river. These fish can become quite large, up to a foot long under the right conditions. They can live up to twenty years if cared for properly.

Oscars prefer water with a neutral pH, and are unable to thrive in poor conditions. They require large tanks, with plenty of room to grow and patrol as they are quite territorial.

These freshwater fish are known for their aggressive tendencies and should only be kept by experienced aquarists.