A North Carolina man has been charged with four counts of animal cruelty after abandoning his pet fish.
Animal investigators said Michael Hinson left his malnourished fish, Oscar, to die.
After the New Hanover County resident was evicted from his home, a civil unit found Oscar with poor water quality in his tank.
The fish was taken to a local fish store where they discovered a “hole in the head,” a disease that is fatal if left untreated. Oscar’s condition led investigators to their first animal cruelty case against a fish owner.
Ethan Lane, of the local fish store, said Oscar is now eating and getting the proper nutrition he needs.
“He was not in good shape when he came in. He just started eating a few days ago. That was exciting when you see an animal coming in in that shape-getting him to eat and proper nutrition is crucial.”