Kabang wasn’t always snoutless; she was just a family dog in the Philippines. And then one day in December 2011, she leaped in front of a motorcycle to save the lives of the family’s daughter and niece.
In the process, her snout and upper jaw were ripped off by the motorcycle’s wheel. With devastating injuries and limited veterinary care locally, a Care for Kabang fundraising campaign gathered enough funds to get her to California for surgery in late 2012.
Once there, doctors discovered that the dog also had a life-threatening cancer and gave her chemotherapy. The chemotherapy meant that surgeons had to delay any plans for surgery on her face. She also had to be treated for heartworm before that surgery could proceed.
In the end, veterinarians couldn’t reconstruct Kabang’s jaw, but they did heal her wounds during her seven-month stay. Her surgeries included dental work and teeth extractions followed by closing of opened wounds and the restoration of her nasal function.
Earlier this week, Kabang returned home to a hero’s welcome, as noted by this BBC report:
Kabang is now considered an ambassador of ‘dogwill’ to show the power of the unconditional love and devotion our dogs show us each day. Zamboanga City Mayor Celso Lobregat signed Executive Order 503-2013, making Kabang the official symbol of responsible pet ownership and advocacy against animal cruelty.
Her owner, Rudy Bunggal, has been struggling with financial and personal demons associated with alcohol. He’s now been given a new home by the local government, which will pay for the house to be prepared for their arrival by the end of this month. The new house is larger, made of concrete, has a stable roof and is located in a more pleasant environment than Rudy’s shanty house behind a petrol station.