On Monday the staff at the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at UC Davis said goodbye to Kabang. It’s been a long journey for Kabang who became a hero back in December 2011 when she saved two young girls from a motorcycle.
Kabang’s story of heroism became an international sensation. Her actions saved the life of her owner’s daughter and niece but caused serious trauma to the dog’s face including the loss of her entire upper jaw. Soon a fundraising campaign began and people from all over the world chipped in to bring Kabang to UC Davis in October 2012 to receive the treatment she needed.
Once at UC Davis it was discovered Kabang had other medical issues, including heartworm and cancer. This delayed her surgery to repair her face as she had to combat both these ailments first. Finally in March she began her surgery on her face. Her doctors at UC Davis, Dr. Frank Verstraete and Dr. Boaz Arzi, removed her upper teeth, reconstructed one eyelid, used three skin flaps to close the wound and reconstructed her nasal openings.
“She is still not a pretty dog, but she is a happy dog,” said Dr. Verstraete. “We opted for function and comfort as our primary goal.”
Kabang will begin her journey home to the Philippines on Thursday. She is expected to be back with her family on Sunday.
“I don’t think it’s an accident that she is alive,” said Kabang’s Filipino veterinarian Anton Lim. “It all happened for a reason and this opportunity is not being lost on us. We’re hoping to make Kabang an ambassador for responsible pet ownership.”