World | Philippines

Disfigured Philippines dog gets hero’s homecoming

Kabang became famous after running in front of a motorcycle to save two girls

  • By Gilbert P. Felongco, Correspondent
  • Published: 14:44 June 8, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: AP
  • Dr. Anton Lim is interviewed by the media as he holds Kabang, a two-year-old injured mixed breed, upon arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines, early Saturday June 8, 2013 from San Francisco, Calif.

Manila: Kabang, the shepherd mix dog credited for saving her master’s children two years ago, has returned to the Philippines after a successful treatment in the US to cure a range of medical conditions.

A Philippine Airlines commercial flight from San Francisco, California arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal two around 3.30am bearing the five-year-old canine together with her Zamboanga City-based veterinarian Dr Anton Lim and Dr Edgardo Unson.

Lim and Unson held a press briefing at the airport while Kabang gamely indulged in providing local photojournalists with a photo opportunity on her new “reconstructed” face.

Kabang became famous in the country and abroad after she saved her master Rudy Bunggal’s daughter and niece from an accident in December 2011. The children were about to be run over by a motor tricycle in Zamboanga City when the dog flung herself into the fast moving vehicle’s path. The canine’s act to save the children came at a cost to losing the upper part of her snout and left her with a gruesome appearance.

Despite her condition, Kabang lived through her ordeal and her story of heroism got international attention. She even got her own Facebook page “Care for Kabang” which provided updates on her condition during her stay in the US for treatment
New York nurse Karen Kenngott helped start the page that raised more than $20,000 (Dh73,460) for Kabang to be treated in the US.

In October 2012, Kabang flew to the US together with Dr Lim for treatment at the University of California-Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.

Kabang’s doctors treated a range of the dog’s medical concerns. Aside from her damaged snout, UC-Davis veterinarians also discovered she had heartworm disease and cancer known as venereal tumour.

“A team of UC Davis veterinarians — specialising in oncology; infectious diseases; dental, oral and soft-tissue surgery; internal medicine; and outpatient care — was quickly formed to coordinate Kabang’s multi-treatment care. Because of the nature of Kabang’s health problems, each treatment had to be successfully completed before the next began,” said the UC Davis vet medicine website.

On June 3, 2013. Kabang was officially released from the veterinary medical teaching hospital and cleared to return to her family.

According to reports, a welcoming party will greet Kabang upon her arrival in Zamboanga City following her flight from Manila.

Expected to be present are Bunggal and his children and nephew and other well-wishers.

UC Davis had earlier dismissed reports that Kabang would be taken away from Bunggal and be cared for by Lim.

“Contrary to some postings, Dr Lim has not adopted her, but will be there for her and Rudy for the rest of her life. For those of you not in the Philippines, understand that Kabang is a major celebrity there and she will, undoubtedly, go on a VIP tour of the country to support education on proper animal care and animal rights. She will not be neglected, and will be treated very well. Her life will be happy and healthy,” the US Davis Vet Med website said.

“UC Davis bids farewell to Kabang. UC Davis is sending her home with a year’s supply of heartworm, flea and tick preventative medicine. Dr Lim has informed us that Pfizer will provide her with free preventative medication beyond that for the rest of her life, and Pedigree will feed her for the rest of her life.” the website said.

Comments (1)

  1. Added 10:28 June 9, 2013

    So touching. When we give our love and protection to animals, we also receive same in return from them. Dogs are truly our best friends, and we should feel honored to be theirs as well.

    Thek, Abu Dhabi, Philippines

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