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Greenwood nonprofit helps nurse sick, injured animals back to health

When the animals are well enough, Heartbeat4Paws does rehab with make-shift walkers and water therapy.

GREENWOOD, Ind — Dianna Kaminski started Heartbeat4Paws in 2019 to help sick and injured animals who would most likely not survive without her help.

Kaminski runs the organization out of her Greenwood home, where she cares for and rehabs the animals.

"I do a lot of dogs that are hit by cars, and their bones are shattered," Kaminski said. "The dogs may go to the vet to get stabilized, and then, I bring them here."

According to Kaminski, a dog with a pelvic injury needs healing before undergoing surgery because the surgery could cause nerve damage and cause the dogs to be paralyzed.

When the animals are well enough, Kaminski does rehab with make-shift walkers and water therapy.

"Sasha does water therapy every day, but she's got three areas in her spine that are different areas. We were hoping we could do a surgery that could help her in the long run, but she's an older girl," Kaminski said. "Three times a week, we do laser acupuncture and, then, also the water therapy on the treadmill."

Kaminski shared more stories of the dogs they've helped in the last few years, including Maddie, who had a traumatic injury but is now walking.

"Maddie came from Texas, and during transport, I think her bones ended up kind of shifting again because she sat for almost two weeks there," Kaminski said. "She went through another probably four weeks here ... we've been lucky."

For Kaminski, it's emotional work, especially when she thinks of the ones who didn't make it, like sweet Bella.

"It was terrible. She had burns all over her body, she had broken legs. She suffered a lot, but she didn't suffer while we were taking care of her," Kaminski said. "She went through about five surgeries, and her skin kept dying, so we had to make a decision not to put her through that anymore." 

And even though Bella didn't make it, Heartbeat4Paws still paid more than $10,000 to care for her.

While she'll never get over the ones that don't make it, Kaminski knows what she is doing is not only healing shattered bones, but also helping these four-legged friends rebuild their trust in humanity.

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