NORWALK (CBS) —  An Orange County judge has sentenced a Bellflower woman, who let her dog nearly starve to death.

Kimberly Nizato was a full-time kennel assistant at an Irvine Veterinary Hospital when she gave up her severely emaciated dog to a friend last spring.

Her 3-year-old German Shepherd weighed 37 pounds and veterinarians said he had eaten dirt and rocks to survive.

Nizato originally faced felony animal cruelty charges, but a judge reduced that charge to a misdemeanor. She pleaded no contest and was sentenced Monday to 30 days in jail and was ordered to pay more than $2,000 restitution for the cost of treating the dog, who was renamed “Courage.”

Courage was nursed back to health by German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County and now lives with an adopted family.

Comments (17)
  1. jeff gray says:

    As a Owner of a Rescued 6 month old German Shepard I have seen conditions that made me ill. people whom abuse and neglect such wonderful animals should themselves be subjected to the same treatment. The Judge to reduce the charges like that he should try a bowl of rocks and dirt and maybe that would changed his mind

    1. bcb says:

      I absolutely agree with the 3 of you %100!

  2. claudia says:

    I AGREE! What a stupid judge, what a stupid system we have. I hope this B&^%h starves to death. or suffers for the rest of her miserable life. That B&^%CH should just kill herself now, worthless, stup*d woman. How can she look at herself everyday. What kind of parents did she have? I hope she doesn’t have any kids, she might do the same to them or worst.
    Courage, you are awesome! Great story of survival.

  3. Lynn Cohen says:

    Both the woman and the judge should be publicly stoned! Then they will both know what it is like to eat rocks and dirt!
    I can’t wait to get home and hug my German Shepherd & Doberman, both rescue dogs!

  4. Debra says:

    I agree with all of you, why do people have animals if they don’t want to, or can’t , take care of them??????
    I just can’t believe the punishment she got for the crime. If we don’t make these people accountable, this kind of abuse will only continue !!!

  5. Elaine G36 says:

    I am so bummed by this turn out. I have been following this case since it first broke and I agree with all of you. Animal cruelty IS a FELONY, and should have been treated as such! I cannot wrap my mind around what could have caused the judge to lessen the ruling, from the articles I have read she doesn’t seem the least bit remorseful. At least Courage has found a happy home.

  6. Maury says:

    Typical airhead judge we have here in California. How these clowns passed a bar exam is beyond belief. The only bar these clowns pass, is the liquor bar. They should throw that nit-wit judge in prison with her.

  7. John Pelligrini says:

    The law is a joke, the judge is a bigger joke, 30 days for attempted murder, we treat murders on death row better than this pig treated her dog. I would put her and the judge in jail together and they can feed on each other.

  8. Lisa says:

    What the heck was this judge thinking? Starve her for a week or two. Heartless piece of garbage.

  9. john says:

    the law is a joke. the judge should be starved to near-death to teach him a lesson. what a fcuked up world we live in.

  10. GEORGE says:


  11. veteran says:

    Is this the community where the city council rip off the town with gross salaries? 250,000.00 for doing nothing but planning their next raise? What sentance did the council members get? Who cares about some idiot who can’t take care of her dog. There are mothers who treat their children the sme way. You people need to get your priorities turned around.

    1. ??? says:

      cruelty comes in all forms, sir. Just bcuz we r talking about a poor dog that was treated badly dosent mean that we don’t care about other issues as well. By the way…people that treat animals badly usually end up treating people & kids badly also.

  12. Chris says:

    Now I am totally convinced the justice system is whacked beyond belief! misdemeanor??? What is the judge smoking??? Sir! Sir Honorable your Honor! I charge you with misrepresentation of victims! I charge you with Mis Judging a case as a Judge…I charge you with Fraud and neglect! We the people ask for your resignation signed ASAP! 30 days in jail plus a fine of $2000? Wow! yea that’s gonna teach me a lesson and prevent others from doing the same.

    Simply sick! we all need to write to that court and demand a retrial! Demand the judge step down for injustice….WHAT PART DID HE NOT UNDERSTAND???? Geeez!

  13. ??? says:

    what is really sick is that she had/has a job working in a kennel caring for dogs, while her own dog was tied to a tree starving to death in the sun w/ no water. Unbelievable. Can you believe people like this walk the earth? I hope she has to serve all of her 30 days in jail, and they don’t pull something stupid like making her serve 3 hours or something like that. This sentence is rediculous.

  14. !!!! says:

    stupid a$$ judge.

  15. RT, Newport Beach says:

    The “slap on the wrist” for such a heinous crime was, in a word, unconscionable. In two words, I’d add “irresponsible”.
    I understand that the extent of the law may not allow the level of sentencing that many of us believe she has earned with her abuse and neglect, however, considering the dog’s condition, along with her knowledge in her role as a care provider to animals, should prove that this was not ignorance or a mistake. It was careless and reckless abuse and neglect. Shame on the system and those who interpreted it, in this case. They got it very wrong, and left the door open for future abusers to get away with attempted murder.

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