After spending the last eight months in the US receiving medical care, she was showered with a hero’s welcome upon her return home to the Philippines.
Kabang lost the upper portion of her snout after jumping in front of a speeding motorcycle, saving the lives of two young girls in her hometown of Zamboanga.
“What we see here – she saved two lives, so the whole world actually came together to save her.” said Anton Lim, a veterinarian who accompanied Kabang to the University of California for surgery.
People worldwide donated $27,000 to cover Kabang’s overseas medical expenses.
Doctors were unable to save her muzzle, but they did spare her from a malignant tumor and heartworm. She was sent home with a year’s supply of heartworm medication, as well as flea and tick preventatives. She was also given a lifetime supply of Pedigree dog food.
Kabang was reunited with her owner, Rudy Bunggal, and the girls she saved – the owner’s daughter Dina and her cousin, Princess Diansing.
“She is not just my friend, she is like a part of our family,” said 13-year-old Dina Bunggal. “I am very thankful to her, because without her, maybe I will not be alive today.”
Taking part in a large motorcade, Kabang and Rudy rode through town in the back of a pickup truck adorned with yellow balloons. Once at the Municipal Hall, Mayor Celso Lobregat dubbed her the “Pride of Zamboanga.” She was given a bag of treats and presented with many awards.
“What we want is to make her an ambassador of dog good will, and to promote responsible pet ownership,” Lim said.
Taking the first step in responsible pet ownership is Rudy. He and his wife have separated, and he has been struggling with finances and drinking problems. He is now living alone in a shanty, earning less than $5 a day as a construction worker. For the time being, Kabang will be staying with Dr. 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,” a Facebook posting by Kabang’s U.S. fundraising branch with the Animal Welfare Coalition read. “She will not be neglected, and will be treated very well. Her life will be happy and healthy.”