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Community helps long time Michiana pet volunteer in need

The community is rallying around a South Bend woman who has dedicated her life to helping local pets and their owners.

As the creator of the South Bend Lost and Found Pets Facebook page, Melody Heintzelman helps Michiana's four legged friends and their owners in times of need.

“She gives so much to everyone,” said Tina Donica, an admin of the page.

And yet, Heintzelman has been going without.

“Water is just like gold. Some other person, they would have a drippy faucet, they’d be upset. Not me! I like that drippy faucet,” said Heintzelman.

For the last four years she has not had properly running water, just a small drip from her shower.

With a damaged well the repairs would cost thousands of dollars that she doesn’t have. It’s a struggle that Heintzelman says has made her day to day life very difficult.

“It’s of those things you really need. No one really knew until I told Clare one day,” said Heintzelman.

“When she told me four years I was like, no this cannot go on another day. We have to do something, we have to help her,” said Clare Duran.

Help came in a familiar form. Heintzelman’s friend and fellow animal rescuer Duran started a Facebook page with a fitting title: Rescue the Rescuer.

“Her enthusiasm to help people has actually started this chain reaction and you see it spreading all over," Duran said.

“When we found out about it last week all of our members were like how can we help?” said Donica.

From $200 to $2,000 in just 48 hours members of the South Bend Lost and Pets Facebook page are already putting a big drop in her bucket towards a new well.

“She’s done so much for the community, it’s time to help her,” said Donica.

In Heintzelman’s home where water is gold, a community that cares is just a click away.

“I think I’m still trying to get over the shock. It means the world to me. Just surprised that that many people are out there that would help and that would do that for me,” said Heintzelman.

The fund is still in need of donations to fix Heintzelman’s well and ultimately repair other areas of her home. Click here to donate.

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