Courage, German shepherd found emaciated in Bellflower garage, is recovering -- and has a new home
The German shepherd dog found starved and subsisting on dirt in a Bellflower garage in early April is well on the road to recovery and even has a new home, the Orange County Register reports. A good Samaritan discovered the dog, then named Bosco, in the garage and brought him to an emergency veterinary clinic. He couldn't walk or lift his head and weighed just 37 pounds, a shockingly low weight for an adult German shepherd.
More shocking still: His owner, as Southeast Area Animal Control Authority staff discovered when she came to the organization's Downey shelter facility to request paperwork on the dog, worked at an Irvine veterinary clinic as a kennel attendant. The owner, 26-year-old Kimberly Nizato, was arrested and later fired from her job. Nizato was released on $20,000 bail and has been charged with one count of felony animal cruelty and one count of failure to provide care, a misdemeanor. She is scheduled to appear in Bellflower court Wednesday.
The group German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County offered to step in and care for the dog, which they renamed Courage. "Our vet confirmed that he would not have lived one more day without intervention," the group noted in an update on Courage posted on its website. The dog required extensive emergency care, including blood and plasma transfusions, infusions of antibiotics and a complete flushing of his gastrointestinal tract.
Courage, who has gained about 30 pounds since his rescue, is now displaying a lust for life and a love for play, GSROC says. Veterinarian Bill Grant, who has been in charge of Courage's care since the rescue, told the Register that the animal's only health issue now is a moderate level of anemia, for which he is receiving treatment.
Best of all, Courage has been adopted by a GSROC volunteer, who has chosen to remain anonymous, and is reportedly flourishing in his new home. (You can see his progress in the form of "before" and "after" photos on GSROC's Facebook fan page.)
-- Lindsay Barnett
Video: Orange County Register