The North Carolina man who was captured on different checks of animal cruelty after he surrendered his pet fish had the charges against him dropped Tuesday, the head prosecutor said.

New Hanover County District Attorney Ben David said he needed to drop the charges against Michael Ray Hinson in light of the fact that “fish are not secured under the resolutions identifying with the cruelty to animals or wrongdoing relinquishment charges,” WWAY reported.

“We take a very dim view of anyone who would abuse any creature great or small and appreciate their enforcement of the laws to protect vulnerable animals,” David said, according to Port City Daily.

fish animal cruelty law
Oscar fish Astronotus ocellatus swimming underwater aquarium

“Fish are not included in this statute, however, so my office is dismissing these charges.”

The 53-year-old Hinson was blamed for leaving his pet Oscar fish after he was ousted from his New Hanover County home March 22, WECT said. At the point when the fish was found by sheriff’s agents March 25, it “was in weakness and swimming in a filthy tank,” the TV station announced.

The fish was experiencing a gap in the head disease, as per Ethan Lane, a worker of The Fish Room in Wilmington where the animal is restoring and recuperating its health, The State detailed.

Before it was found, the main thing keeping the fish alive was eating cockroaches that fell in its tank, Lane said.

Hinson was accused of three counts of wrongdoing cruelty to animals and one count of abandoning of an animal April 3, WRAL announced. He was discharged after his bond was set at $4,000, as per the TV station.