How a man was charged with animal cruelty to fish

Fish tank.
Photo credit hedgehog94/Getty Image
By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A man was charged with animal cruelty to a fish. 

A North Carolina man was arrested for cruelty to animals when he moved but left his 6-inch pet fish behind in a dirty bowl with no food. While "Finding Nemo" has done a lot to make us think differently of the feelings of fish, you know, it's still delicious.  

The charges were ultimately dropped, but how could he even be charged with animal cruelty for an animal that routinely becomes dinner? 

In case you were wondering, it's not because it was a 6-inch koi fish; size doesn't matter. 

The crime of animal cruelty is about the mental process of the human being and the suffering of the animal. The mental process of fishing for food or even for sport is not the same as letting it starve to death. 

While the ultimate result may be the death of the animal, the suffering during the process is one animal control officers and the law take seriously, regardless of whether the animal is considered by most people to be a pet or a platter.