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Former kennel attendant pleads no contest to animal cruelty

Ktla A former kennel attendant who authorities said nearly starved her German shepherd to death pleaded no contest Monday in Norwalk Superior Court to a felony charge of animal cruelty.

Kimberly Kimiko Nizato, 27, of Bellflower, was charged with one felony count of animal cruelty after her severely emaciated dog was removed from her home in April 2010.

The dog weighed just 37 pounds, and a veterinarian who examined the animal found only hair, dirt and rocks in his stomach, with no evidence of food.

Officials later learned that Nizato was a kennel attendant at an Irvine veterinary clinic. She was fired  after her arrest.

The dog has since been adopted and is in good health, officials said.

Nizato is set to be sentenced July 28. She faces up to three years in state prison, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said.


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-- Kate Mather

Photo: Kimberly Kimiko Nizato. Courtesy of: KTLA-TV

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