ZAMBO'S 'HERO DOG' TO RETURN HOME FROM U.S. TREATMENT / IS CANINE 'GOODWILL AMBASSADOR'
[Kabang, a two-year-old injured mixed breed, is photographed with her caregiver Dawn Gillette as she is released from the from the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of California, Monday, June 3, 2013. Kabang lost her snout and upper jaw saving two girls' lives and is heading back to the Philippines after treatment at a California hospital. AP PHOTO/RICH PEDRONCELLI Inset shows the family in Zamboanga that owns Kabang]
MANILA, JUNE 10, 2013 (PHILSTAR) By Camille Diola - The Aspin mongrel from Zamboanga famed for having saved two children from an accident, was released from a veterinary hospital in California and will soon return home in the Philippines, reports from international media said.
The dog called Kabang earned international attention when she lost her snout and upper jaw after saving the two girls by jumping in front of a rushing motorcycle in December 2011.
She also suffered from undiagnosed cancer while at the University of California Davis' care the past year, but survived the dreaded tumor through chemotherapy.
Related story: Hero dog seems to have beaten cancer
Veterinary professor Frank Verstraete said that his team was able to heal the dog's gaping wounds and restored her necessary nasal and dental functions.
They also removed heartworms from the dog's arteries, as well as other ailments by giving three arsenic shots.
Kabang was under the hospital's care for seven months and incurred a bill of over $10,000, sourced from donations all over the world.
Related story: Americans to honor hero dog Kabang
Verstraete said, however, that they were not successful in reconstructing the dog's snout and jaw, which required elaborate craniofacial and dental procedures.
Kabang was sent to the California facility after a New York-based nurse, moved by the dog's heroism, set up a fundraising campaign (www.careforkabang.com) that yielded over $20,000 from 22 countries.
The expenses included her airfare, maintenance medications and visas.
Her owners said in a previous interview that the dog was found in a rice field as a puppy.
[Rock star welcome for hero dog Kabang By Jerome Aning Philippine Daily Inquirer: CELEBRITY PET Kabang strikes a pose as she faces the press upon her arrival at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2, accompanied by veterinarian Anton Lim. RODEL ROTONI]
Hero dog is canine ‘ambassador of goodwill’ By Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star) | Updated June 10, 2013 - 12:00am
‘Kabang’ is carried by his handler beside elephant Mali at the Manila Zoo yesterday. EDD GUMBAN
ZAMBOANGA CITY , Philippines – The shepherd-mix “Kabang,” who lost her upper snout saving two girls, returned yesterday to her owner’s home after eight months of veterinary treatment in the United States, earning a new title as “dog ambassador of goodwill.”
Kabang will not be surrendered by her master for adoption to anybody. Before she became a hero dog, she had been her master’s “lucky charm” in business.
Her owner, 58-year-old Rudy Bunggal, said many customers came to his vulcanizing shop when the hero dog was with him. But when she left, his business slowed down and he started to suffer financial difficulty.
“Even before the accident and during her horrifying injuries, Kabang was really a lucky charm to me. I had a lot of customers in my small vulcanizing shop. But when she left us, life (became) so difficult,” Bunggal said.
He had to shift to selling bundles of kangkong (water spinach) and doing construction work to provide for his family’s daily needs.
“I will not (anymore allow Kabang to be adopted). We will take care of her at home,” he said.
Bunggal also said his family will not take advantage of Kabang’s popularity and gave assurance that the hero dog will be given fair attention even if they are also taking care of “Junior,” one of Kabang’s pups that is now a grownup dog.
This, however, raised eyebrows in the neighborhood that is curious as to how the Bunggal family, who only squat in a vacant lot along the village of Canelar Presa, will be able to provide for the needs of the hero dog.
Bunggal shrugged off talks about his family’s capacity, saying that feeding Kabang was never been an issue in his household.
“Kabang will always have a special place for us,” he added.
On Saturday, two-year-old Kabang, her tail wagging, faced television cameras and fans at Manila International airport and toured a nearby upscale shopping mall and park frequented by dog lovers. She was an instant star.
Authorities are planning a short motorcade today in honor of Kabang, which means “different colors” in the local dialect of Zamboanga.
“What we want is to make her a dog ambassador of goodwill, and to promote responsible pet ownership,” said Anton Lim, a veterinarian who accompanied Kabang to the University of California in Davis for surgery.
US doctors closed her facial wound but could no longer save and reconstruct her nose. She also survived a cancerous tumor and heartworm.
Last year, Kabang jumped in front of a speeding motorcycle to save her master’s daughter and granddaughter from collision. People from around the world donated lunch money to raise $27,000 for her medical treatment abroad.
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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