The Startling Culprit Behind the Starvation of Courage

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The Startling Culprit Behind the Starvation of Courage

From Examiner.com

What is most surprising is Nizato’s occupation as a part-time, junior level veterinary attendant (not yet certified) at Southern California Veterinary Referral Group in Irvine, CA. She is paid to help animals not hurt them.

The Southeast Area Animal Control Authority (SEAACA) in Orange County, CA, arrested 26 year-old Kimberly Nizato Friday morning on felony charges of animal cruelty. Nizato was the former owner of the dog whom she called “Bosco,” now known as “Courage,” rescued on April 7th by German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County. Courage was found chained to a tree deprived of food and water for an estimated five weeks.

Nizato and her father went to the SEAACA office in Downey to comply with a request to fill out paperwork on her dog. She was arrested at that time. Nizato admitted to being the dog’s owner and did not have any response when asked about her cruel treatment of Courage other than to insist she had fed him. This statement runs counter to the evidence found in the dog’s stomach by the vets at Community Veterinary Hospital who have been caring for him over the past twelve days.

Nizato’s bail is posted at $50,000. Captain Aaron Reyes, the SEAACA director, said this was to ensure she would not flee the area, especially since it was learned she already has a criminal history, albeit unrelated to animals. She was booked into custody Friday at the Lakewood Sheriff’s Department and is scheduled to appear for arraignment in the Bellflower Superior Court early next week.

What is most surprising is Nizato’s occupation as a part-time, junior level veterinary attendant (not yet certified) at Southern California Veterinary Referral Group in Irvine, CA. She is paid to help animals not hurt them. Gilbert Velasquez, the hospital administrator, feels she was a good employee, but is admittedly baffled why she didn’t turn to her place of employment for help in the care-taking of the German Shepherd. While she is now suspended from work, the hospital has decided to continue her pay for fear of leaving her and her young daughter in the lurch. Velasquez and staff said they had no knowledge of Nizato’s behavior and were astounded to learn of the charges levied against her.

However, something of Kimberly Nizato's character can be gleaned by looking at her MySpace page; among several photo albums of family and friends, including two of her daughter entitled “Lil’ Monster,” it stands as conspicuous to find no photos of Bosco. None of him drowsily lying on a sofa with the little girl or playing in the backyard. None of him belly up, receiving pats on the chest or adoring coos. Nothing to indicate this dog was a cherished or acknowledged family member in any way. In fact, there is hardly demonstration of a love or interest in any kind of animal aside from a simple mention of her occupation as being that of a “vet tech.”

Perusing the rest of her site, one notices a vaguely Gothic background, a stated love of horror films, an admission to being the black sheep of the family, but, aside from the lack of dog photos, there is hardly anything which throws up an urgent red flag or hints at the type of cruel abuse and neglect Courage suffered until one happens upon a folder of illustrations entitled “Things to make you laugh.” Within this folder is a cartoon of a cow strung up on chains by her hooves looking frightened as she dangles over a bucket. A large bear of a man stands before her with a whip in his hand. The caption reads: “The horrible truth behind whipped cream.”

Maria Dales, the founder of GSROC, the rescue group who has overseen the rehabilitation of Courage said, “The reason it took so long to apprehend this person is that SEAACA wants to ensure a conviction.” LA Dog Rescue Examiner learned Ms. Nizato may be eligible for up to five years jail time if convicted.

To donate or learn more about Courage, call this number: (714) 974.7762 at German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County, a registered non-profit 501c(3) organization serving Orange County, Greater Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and more.