A family’s joy at finding their missing dog quickly turned to panic when they learned that their Pit Bull had been intentionally hurt by someone.
The Knisely family rescued Diamond, a Pit Bull mix, a few years ago after finding her in “really poor shape”. She quickly became a beloved member of the family, especially to their 12-year-old son Jamie.
Last week, Diamond had bolted out of the yard of the family’s Indiana home while Jamie was getting on the bus for school. The family searched desperately for Diamond for 36 hours and were relieved when they got a call that she had been found just a mile away. But when Kirk went to get her, Diamond found her with a terrible wound to her head.
“It was just awful. Her head was bleeding and burnt and her right eye was closed. … It was heartbreaking,” Kirk told the Indy Star. “I’m 47 years old, and I’ve seen a lot of things, but I’ve never seen anything like that.”
The wound on her head was so deep that her skull was exposed. (It appears that Diamond’s injury may be a gun shot wound that went through and blew the tip of her head off, according to Stacy Haler, Kirk’s stepdaughter. It also appears she was intentionally burned.)
The Knisely’s didn’t know if Diamond would make it. They took her to two animal hospitals to see if she could be saved and were told that treatments would cost between $5,000 and $8,000. Not having the cash on hand, they then took her to Purdue University Small Animal Hospital where Kirk said a series of “miracles” began to turn things around for Diamond and the family when two strangers stepped forward to help.
“At Purdue they said they could clean up the wound and give her some other treatment for about $150 or $170,” Kirk said. “Me and my stepdaughter were gathering the money to pay, but an older lady in the lobby saw Diamond and overheard what was going on. She got up and said, ‘Here is $50. I want your dog to be okay.’ Then her friend stopped and gave us $100 to help, and I just lost it. I started crying and had to walk away. They were like two angels there to help us.”
Stacy also started an online fundraiser to help cover the costs for the expensive surgery and generous animal lovers have already exceeded their goal. Diamond is currently being cared for by the Advanced Veterinary Care Center in Indiana.
As for Diamond, she’s starting to feel like her old self. Kirk told the Indy Star, “We have a routine that when I get up in the morning for work and brush my teeth and put on my work boots, (Diamond) sits by my feet. This morning she did it for the first time since she went missing, and it was so touching. It’s amazing that she is still barking and wagging her tail after what she has been through.”