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Thread: Dog starved for 5 weeks is recovering‎

  1. #31
    Elite Member Witchywoman's Avatar
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    Although the preliminary hearing for alleged animal abuser Kimberly Nizato, 26, was continued until July 26 on Monday, some testimony regarding Courage, the severely emaciated German Shepherd dog, was heard by the court. Nizato, a Bellflower mother who previously worked at Southern California Veterinary Specialty Hospital in Irvine, was in court for the proceedings. She is charged with felony animal cruelty.

    The hearing, presided over by Judge Richard M. Goul, at Bellflower Superior Court was continued due to a packed court schedule, according to the Orange County Register. The publication's photographer was also in the court Monday to document the events.

    Two previous preliminary hearing dates were rescheduled after Nizato's attorney, Andrew Stein, requested medical records from the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office.

    Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Bainbridge began outlining some of the framework in this case, which began unfolding in April after Courage was rescued from Nizato's home by a good Samaritan and then German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County. The dog, then weighing just a frightening 37 pounds, was rushed to a veterinary hospital where things were extremely touch-and-go.

    Today, Courage tops the scales at more than 80 pounds. He is healthy, in school, playing with his older "brother" and adopted by the loving woman who helped rescue him. She has before preferred to remain anonymous, but has come forth to testify on Courage's behalf.

    At Monday's hearing, witnesses filling in the gaps from April 6 until today took the stand. First off was Lisa Whiseant, the good Samaritan who is now Courage's new mom. (The OC Dogs Examiner ran the first-ever interview with her. Read it here.)
    According to the Register, Whiseant testified that Nizato’s sister, Kristen Nizato Leavenworth, contacted her via e-mail to inform her of the dog's dire condition, but was now on the mend. After some back-and-forth online, it was decided that Whiseant would take the dog, then named Bosco.

    Upon arrival at Nizato's Bellflower home, Whiseant found Nizato waiting for her in the garage. The dog was folded into a dog kennel, lying on his side and wailing. He didn't have the strength to stand or even raise his head, according to veterinary reports. Whiseant immediately got the dog into her car and took him to a veterinary clinic.

    The veterinarian who initially treated Courage, Dr. David Weber, also testified in court on Monday.

    He detailed Courage's medical condition as seen the night of his arrival: impacted intestines, severe malnutrition, organ distress. Courage was treated, and then transferred the next day to Community Veterinary Hospital in Garden Grove with Dr. Bill Grant, who also testified Monday.

    In a big blow to the defense, Grant stated that no underlying health conditions would have been responsible for Courage's near-death health. Nizato's attorney has said Courage suffered from medical issues, thus his emaciated state. It's been previously reported that medical personnel working with Courage state that the dog's quick and impressive recovery and weight gain (sometimes a pound a day or more) lead more proof to the pudding that he was starved and not suffering from any medical issue or illness.

    What many following this case hope to hear in the coming weeks is the answer to the question "why."
    It's alleged that Nizato had the dog from his puppy days until his relinquishment at age 3. What caused this young mother, someone who worked in the veterinary industry as a kennel attendant, to stop feeding her dog for upwards of five weeks? Was there other abuse going on? How did no one turn to help before the 11th hour? Why did no one else in the household (Nizato lives with her parents and her daughter) reach out for help? Why wasn't the dog surrendered to a rescue group, a medical clinic or the local animal shelter as soon as he was unwanted? Are mental issues playing a part in this drama? Is there something darker going on behind the tragedy? Many blog posters have issued such questions.

    There doesn't seem to be any quick answers to the mysteries surrounding Courage's case, but the prosecution is determined to get to the bottom of the guilty or not-guilty issue. Hopefully, according to those connected to this case, more answers will come out along the way.

    The case continues July 26 in Bellflower. If convicted, Nizato faces three years in state prison and a $20,000 fine.

    Check out the OC Register's slideshow of Monday's hearing here.


    also an interview with the rescuer/new owner here:

    Examiner exclusive: Courage's new owner and savior speaks about the ordeal

  2. #32
    Elite Member bellini's Avatar
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    That is the big question "why?". Here she worked in the veterinary field, to abuse her dog like she did is so odd. I wonder if she had some kind of a nervous breakdown? You'd have to be out of your mind in some way to act that out of character, imo.

    Thanks for posting the update Witchywoman.


  3. #33
    Elite Member nycgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurent View Post
    Make this shit a capital offense. I'm serious. People who do this sort of fuckery deserve death, imo.
    I agree. Imagine if this was done to a child?

  4. #34
    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
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    I hate this fucking cunt. I see her ugly, nasty face and want to beat it in with a bat. She's a monster. I don't care of she had a mental breakdown...there were others in the home. All of them should be held accountable.

  5. #35
    Elite Member cmmdee's Avatar
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    What a b this vet is. Poor doggy. Get better!

  6. #36
    Elite Member bellini's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KrisNine View Post
    I hate this fucking cunt. I see her ugly, nasty face and want to beat it in with a bat. She's a monster. I don't care of she had a mental breakdown...there were others in the home. All of them should be held accountable.
    I think she should be held accountable. I wasn't saying that at all. I'm just curious how someone could go from a vet technician and apparently a normal person to doing something this heinous.


  7. #37
    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellini View Post
    I think she should be held accountable. I wasn't saying that at all. I'm just curious how someone could go from a vet technician and apparently a normal person to doing something this heinous.
    Oh no, I didn't mean you. I think her attorney was going with that angle at first. Something about there being so much stress on her because she took care of the whole house. Meanwhile, I think there were 3 other adults in the house that should also be held accountable.

  8. #38
    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    That is one tough doggy. Good for him! Wondering if the vet tech is mentally ill or something. How else could you explain it? And why didn't anyone else in the house notice? Thinking there's plenty we don't know yet. And none of it good.
    Life is short. Break the Rules. Forgive Quickly. Kiss Slowly. Love Truly.
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  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fancynancy View Post
    I absolutely HATE people who do that. We had a dog that disapepared and was gone for months. Then one day he showed up back home, skinny as hell,had a chewed rope around his neck but so glad to see us. And then awhile later my dad went out to check on him and he was dead. He had chewed the rope from his neck and come home to die.
    so sad. but at least he came back home.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by nycgirl View Post
    I agree. Imagine if this was done to a child?
    Sadly, it does happen to children sometimes. The very caregivers who are supposed to protect and care for their kids hurt them in order to get attention for themselves.

    Thank God this is a relatively rare condition.

    Munchausen by Proxy


    Quote Originally Posted by Honey View Post


    A 3-year-old German Shepherd that was tied to a tree in Garden Grove and starved for at least five weeks is recovering but is still too weak to walk.
    Named Courage by shelter workers in Orange County, the dog was so starved that it ate dirt, according to a KTLA report.
    Courage weighed 37 pounds -- far below the 75 to 85 pounds that a healthy German Shepherd should weigh.
    Veterinarians have given Courage blood transfusions, plasma transfusions, electrolyte and vitamin infusions. He is expected to survive, but is not expected to recover quickly, according to the report.

    Garden Grove dog starved for 5 weeks is recovering | L.A. NOW | Los Angeles Times
    I feel that any being who could treat an innocent animal like this is a monster, not a human being.

    Karma is a bitch, and may it come back to bite this poor dog's abuser...doubly!

    I hope that the poor Shepherd enjoys a full and speedy recovery, and eventually finds a forever home where he will be treated with the love, dignity and respect that he deserves.

    As for his tormentor, I hope that it rots in hell!
    Last edited by Tati; July 25th, 2010 at 05:52 PM.

  11. #41
    Elite Member Witchywoman's Avatar
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    ^^^^ yes he has now fully recovered with extra pounds to spare and is living permanently with the woman that rescued him.

    This photo was taken in May, they say he's gained more weight and plays like a puppy.

  12. #42
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Gorgeous animal, look at his eyes. So much going on behind them.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellini View Post
    That is the big question "why?". Here she worked in the veterinary field, to abuse her dog like she did is so odd. I wonder if she had some kind of a nervous breakdown? You'd have to be out of your mind in some way to act that out of character, imo.

    Thanks for posting the update Witchywoman.
    I don't know bellini, don't pedphiles usually work around children? I'm not going to give her a pass just because she's a woman. It's utter b/s that she didn't turn that dog in or go to a german shepherd rescue center. She should never be allowed to have any pets.. ever.

    My daughter rescued two shar-pei's, half starved and bad heartworms. Female needs knee surgery. Vets are willing to work out payments with people so there is just no excuse for what that woman did.

  14. #44
    Elite Member bellini's Avatar
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    I don't know bellini, don't pedphiles usually work around children? I'm not going to give her a pass just because she's a woman. It's utter b/s that she didn't turn that dog in or go to a german shepherd rescue center. She should never be allowed to have any pets.. ever.
    Yes true. But here was a woman who choose a career working with animals. I hope it's safe to assume she didn't pick that because she actually wanted to abuse them. She had this dog for years with no problems. I'm not trying to justify her abuse or give her any kind of a pass, just curious how someone goes from an animal lover to abuser. You'd think there must have been some trauma in her life to cause it. I don't know. I was just curious about the why of it because it's not that obvious as it would be with a pedophile, you know?

    I'm so glad he was rescued and doing better. The capacity for forgiveness that dogs have is amazing, how they can still trust humans after so much abuse. My own shepherd was dumped on the streets. When we got her she was so skinny and very skittish of people. Now she's the most loving and devoted dog. She's just a treasure.


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    Quote Originally Posted by bellini View Post
    Yes true. But here was a woman who choose a career working with animals. I hope it's safe to assume she didn't pick that because she actually wanted to abuse them. She had this dog for years with no problems. I'm not trying to justify her abuse or give her any kind of a pass, just curious how someone goes from an animal lover to abuser. You'd think there must have been some trauma in her life to cause it. I don't know. I was just curious about the why of it because it's not that obvious as it would be with a pedophile, you know?

    I'm so glad he was rescued and doing better. The capacity for forgiveness that dogs have is amazing, how they can still trust humans after so much abuse. My own shepherd was dumped on the streets. When we got her she was so skinny and very skittish of people. Now she's the most loving and devoted dog. She's just a treasure.
    thing is I'm afraid of German Shepherds and pitbulls but even so I'd never hurt any kind of animal.

    Your not jaded yet, I watch Animal Cops and after a while you just don't trust anyone.

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