BELLFLOWER - A Downey woman accused of nearly starving her dog to death was charged in a felony criminal complaint filed Tuesday by the District Attorney's office.Kimberly Kimiko Nizato, 26, was charged with one felony count of cruelty to an animal. Immediately after the case was filed, her attorney requested that she be arraigned and the court agreed. Nizato pleaded not guilty and is due back in Bellflower Superior Court on May 25. She remains free on $20,000 bail. A severely emaciated adult German Shepherd owned by Nizato was rescued from her home on April 6. The veterinarian who examined the dog determined there was no evidence of food in his system, but hair, dirt and rocks were found in the stomach, authorities said. Nizato worked in the veterinary field at the time she was arrested. The dog, formerly known as Bosco, has been renamed Courage. He is recovering and gaining weight without assistance from medication, authorities said. Nizato faces a maximum prison term of three years if convicted as charged.
********** Published: May 14, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 4