Kennel assistant sentenced for animal cruelty

Kennel assistant sentenced for animal cruelty

A veterinary employee was recently sentenced 30 days in jail for starving her German shepherd in California.
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Sep 08, 2011
By dvm360.com staff

As a veterinary team member, you know you should treat pets with the utmost respect and care. Unfortunately not every employee follows the rules. Kimberly Nizato, former kennel assistant for the Southern California Veterinary Specialty Hospital in Irvine, Calif., was recently sentenced to 30 days in jail for nearly starving her German shepherd to death.

Back in April 2010, police officers took Nizato into custody because she apparently left the German Shepherd in an airport carrier inside her garage—without food or water—for five weeks. The emaciated dog weighed 37 pounds and veterinarians reported that he only had hair, dirt, and rocks in his stomach. (There was no evidence of food.)

Nizato pleaded no contest to a felony charge of animal cruelty, according to a Los Angeles newscast. However, the California judge reduced the charge to a misdemeanor and ordered that Nizato pay for the dog’s medical expenses. News of the misdemeanor charge did not sit well with some animal rights groups and several spectators who attended the sentencing. Many were hoping for a felony conviction which would put Nizato in prison for 3 years—instead of 30 days.

The most important thing: Bosco, the abused dog, was nursed back to health at the Orange County German Shepherd Rescue and renamed Courage. A family recently adopted Courage and he’s in good health.

Click here for ways to stop animal cruelty in your community.