In February in Zamboanga City, Philippines, a dog threw herself in front of a speeding motorcycle that was bearing down on two little girls — cousins Dina Bunggal and Princess Diansing, ages 11 and 3 respectively. The girls were shaken but unhurt. The motorcycle driver was also unhurt. But the dog, the hero of the day, didn’t get off so easily. Brave, valiant Kabang did stop the motorcycle, but in doing so her snout became caught in the spokes. It was ripped off.
Kabang’s owner, Rudy Bunggal, a father to one of the girls, freed Kabang from the wreckage, and Kabang fled — for two weeks, according to Inquirer News.
We can only imagine the pain the dog was in, but when she returned home and Bunggal took her to the vet, he was asked whether he wanted to euthanize her. He refused.
“It does not matter if she’s ugly now. What is important to us is she saved our children and we cannot thank her enough for that,” Bunggal said.
After being treated for the wounds given and antibiotics, Kabang has been getting along as well as she can. She got pregnant and had puppies. She became a local (and international) legend, with people visiting her at her owner’s shop at all hours. Here’s an account from one eyewitness from the World Behind My Wall Blog:
We stayed at the vulcanizing shop for about an hour and was surprised to see a lot of people coming over to visit her. It’s touching to see a lot of them bringing food and giving donations for the dog owner and his family but what’s surprising is that Mang Rudy only gives the food to his canine heroine and they never consumed any of it. He says the dog deserves all the treatment and the rewards since it was her that saved him and his family.
The risk of infection from Kabang’s wounds, however, means that a full recovery will not happen without complex surgery. And complex surgery of this sort cannot happen in the Philippines.
“The more time that goes by, the more Kabang is at risk of infection,” Karen Kenngott, the U.S. coordinator for Animal Welfare Coalition, told Dog Heirs. “Fungal infections can be especially difficult to eradicate, and any infection in the bone can be a lengthy process to treat at best. Her chances are better the sooner she can get those wounds closed.”
Fortunately, this story seems to be headed toward a happy ending. Veterinarians, animal lovers, and humanitarian groups, including Animal Welfare Coalition, have been raising the money to bring Kabang and her family to the U.S. for the surgery. Kenngott said Kabang is expected to be treated at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital of the University of California Davis, under a team of surgeons.
Let’s hope that happens soon. We’ll let you know.