The Paw Print

Off The Hook

Man Charged With Fish Cruelty has Charges Dropped

An Oscar fish is an omnivorous fish that requires a lot of care.

An Oscar fish is an omnivorous fish that requires a lot of care.

Mercedes Mikhailov, Staff Writer

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A North Carolina man was charged for misdemeanor animal cruelty and abandonment charges is off the hook after prosecutors dropped charges.

Unlike cats, dogs and fish aren’t protected under the state’s animal cruelty law, according to District Attorney Ben David.

According to a spokesman for the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, “[t]hey found a sickly Oscar fish living in a tank that was in ‘deplorable’ condition.”

They found a sickly Oscar fish living in a tank that was in ‘deplorable’ condition.”

— Spokesman for the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office

Proper care for an Oscar fish includes good quality external canisters filters, a 55-gallon fish tank minimum, and an omnivorous diet of blood worms, brine shrimp, and daphnia.

A group of Oscar fish.

“My pet fish requires weekly care,” said Woodside High School senior and fish owner Natalie Agustin. “I have to clean the tank and change the filters. It’s a lot of work.”

Fish, as well as other common household pets, require attention and care. To maintain a healthy pet, you have be attentive.

“If you chose to have a pet of any kind, you must take responsibility and provide them a safe and healthy lifestyle,” Agustin continued. “If you can’t fulfill these basic needs, you shouldn’t ever consider getting a pet.”

It’s a real commitment to having a pet because it’s not just an animal: it’s a new member of the family.

According to Ethan Lane, an employee at the pet store Fish Room in which the abandoned Oscar fish is receiving medical care, “the fish was able to stay alive by eating cockroaches that fell in its tank. The fish was suffering from parasitic hole-in-the-head disease and had open sores and lesions on its head.”

The Oscar fish had to live on an inadequate diet while he was in a severe physical state.

“In the future, we should protect all living things under human responsibility and coexist with all other creatures on this earth,” Lane concluded.

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