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Food starved German shepherd recovering

May 4, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A three-year-old German shepherd is recovering after being taken by a good Samaritan to an Orange County veterinary clinic near death from starvation on April 7th.Nine days later, the dog's owner, Kimberly Nizato of Bellflower, was arrested and charged with one count of felony animal cruelty and one misdemeanor count of failing to provide care.

Nizato will be arraigned May 10 at 8:30 a.m. in Bellflower Superior Court.

Named "Courage" by shelter workers, the dog weighed less than 40 pounds, less than half the healthy weight for a German Shepherd.

He was so weak he could not lift his head or swallow.

The German Shepherd Rescue Group of Orange Country offered to pay for the dog's medical care and bills.

And students and faculty at Back Bay High in Newport Beach raised $400 for the dog's care. "Courage" continues to improve and gain weight.

He has gained more than 20 pounds and continues to thrive. Once legal hurdles are cleared, "Courage" will have a permanent home with his foster caretaker, a volunteer with German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County.