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The Story of “Courage”

I first saw this story while at work about 4am this morning and I’m still crying. How ANYONE could do this to an innocent creature is totally beyond our comprehension here. On April 7, 2010 some people in Orange County, California found a German Shepherd in such poor shape they thought he was dead. When I first saw the photo of him, I thought he was dead. As of April 9 the German Shepherd now named “Courage” because of what he’s been through, is still alive thanks to the kind people who found him and cared enough to put in a call for help to an animal lover who would know what to do. This wonderful person came to the aid of the near dead German Shepherd and raced him to a veterinary clinic where they are trying desperately to keep him alive.

We are all praying these wonderful veterinarians and their staff will be successful and that Courage will pull through and continue on to at least some kind of normal life in a home where he’s loved and cared for. I’ve seen stories where dogs in similar circumstances have pulled through and we’re hoping that Courage will follow in their footsteps.

If you would like to help, there is a fund set up through the German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County California. Riley’s Place has made a donation and we are trying to help get the word out to as many people as we can. They are trying to raise $5,000.00 for his care and recovery. There are many good, caring people who have contributed to this fund. Every dollar will help so do not feel badly if all you can afford is a small amount. If everyone who sees this story would give even $5.00 the fund would reach it’s goal very quickly. You can have a hand in helping to keep Courage alive and to recover.

We hope that whoever did this to Courage is found and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Unfortunately, there just aren’t enough laws nor severe enough penalties imposed on people who would do this. Think about it … even if this person or persons are sent to prison, they will live better than their dog did. The prison system will feed them, provide water, a bed, protection from the weather and even some form of companionship, even if it is just other inmates. We are horrified to know that we are among a species that would tie a dog out in their yard and never feed or water it leaving it to die a miserable, painful and oh so lonely death.

Can you imagine being tied to a tree, watching the family you love and trusted to care for you come and go as though you did not exist? The family you would protect with your life  living their lives totally ignoring you and your cries for help? To know that they can see you out their window and pretend you were invisible? To be so hungry that you are forced to eat dirt to try to fill your hungry tummy? To be tied up so that you cannot even reach rain puddles to drink water?

Just the thought of what this poor dog went though is absolutely heartbreaking! How could you people sleep at night hearing this dog whimpering and crying  for food and attention just outside your window? How could you go about your daily routine and be so totally blind to his suffering? How do you live with yourself? If you didn’t want the dog, if you couldn’t care for him … there are organizations that would have taken proper care of him and found him a new loving home. You did not have to put him through this miserable, agonizing existence!

Courage, this is for you …. everyone at Riley’s Place is pulling for you. You are in our hearts and our minds and we love you very much. You have to fight to win this battle for your life. You will come to know that not every person is as horrible as those that left you to die. You will never be hungry nor thirst for water again. We’ll be watching for updates and for you to get better and stronger every day. Don’t give up, Courage, you can do it!


  1. thomas gorton says:

    July 5, 2010

    Courage has been doing extremely well in his foster home and his foster mom is adopting him after the court proceedings are completed. The court date has been postponed until July 12 or 16.

    Kimberly Nizato was on facebook but last I checked she took herself off it. This dirtbag needs to be tied to a tree until she succombs to dehydration and starvation.

    • Mom says:

      Thanks so much for the update! That is one miracle dog and inspiration to all in our book! Both hubby and I have a couple of pics of Courage on our cell phones.

  2. Mom says:

    Just a quick update, Courage is now living with a Foster Mom and doing well. He is checked by the vet regularly and the German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County web site has a new photo of Courage on it’s home page (go see it, it’s FANTASTIC – Courage is SITTING UP!!!) and is reporting he’s gained TWENTY POUNDS since his April 7 rescue!!! Here is a copy of their April 22, 2010 update on Courage:

    April 22 — Courage went for his blood test today. He has gained 20 pounds since his 4/7 rescue! (So much for his past owner’s excuse that he thin because he was sick!) He is upright and has found his voice! This is one talkative dog–he has a lot to say! He is still bony but not as frail and he definitely has more stamina! Hurray!

    I’m finding conflicting dates but what I’ve narrowed it down to is that Kimberly Nizato, the woman who owned Courage (his name was Bosco when he lived with her) and confessed to being the one that inflicted the horrors on him is due to be arraigned on either May 10 or 12 and is currently out on bond.

    Kimberly is reported to live with her Father who as far as we’re concerned, is just as guilty as Kimberly. There’s just no way Courage could have lived for three years in his house and he did not know what was going on and never did anything about it.

    Unfortunately, the laws that cover animal neglect and cruelty just do not invoke severe enough penalties on people who do horrible things to animals. In our opinion, jail is to good for Kimberly. If she gets any jail time at all, she will be fed, have water and companionship. This is soooooooo much more than the life she provided for Courage.

    GSROC did a fundraiser attempting to raise $5,000.00 dollars to help pay for Courage’s medical and other care and more than DOUBLED their goal … yayyyyyy! Way to go to everyone who contributed to the fund and for helping GSROC save and care for Courage! Our thanks also to the Foster Mom who’s caring for him.

    Courage you just keep working at it, you’re a fighter and a winner! We love you and we can’t wait to see more pics of your progress and would also love to see updated videos as time passes.


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