UPDATE: Catch & Release- Charges dismissed by the District Attorney where a Wilmington man was charged for abandoning a pet fish

The New Hanover District Attorney, Benjamin (Ben) David reportedly announced in a press release Tuesday that charges against a Wilmington man accused and charged with animal cruelty for abandoning his pet fish have been dismissed.

DA David stated, “We take a very dim view of anyone who would abuse any creature great or small and appreciate the enforcement of the laws to protect vulnerable animals.”, WECT reported.

 New Hanover DA David says that fish aren’t protected under the statute and all three charges dismissed.


(Wilmington, NC)-

A New Hanover County man faces animal cruelty charges after he allegedly abandoning a pet fish following eviction 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.

Long finned Oscar fish

The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office said Hinson was evicted on Friday, 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.

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