Kabang — after eight months of medical treatment in the U.S. paid for by $27,000 in donations from around the world — returned this morning to Zamboanga in the Philippines, where she was greeted by well-wishers, driven through town in a motorcade and honored by the mayor.
The mixed breed dog, who lost half her face when she jumped in front of motorcycle two years ago, saving her owner’s daughter and niece, met the media upon her arrival in Manilla yesterday and received a rousing welcome this morning upon her return to Zamboanga, a city in the southern Philippines.
“She is not just my friend, she is like a part of our family,” 13-year-old Dina Bunggal said. “I am very thankful to her, because without her, maybe I will not be alive today.”
Owners Rodolfo “Rudy” Bunggal, his wife Christina, their daughter Dina and her cousin, Princess Diansing, welcomed Kabang home — albeit it amid signs that the family is caught up in some domestic and financial strife.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer reports that Bunggal admits to having a drinking problem, that his wife has left him due to alleged physical abuse, and that, as a $5-a-day construction worker, he’s worried about being able to care for the Kabang, or provide the dog the “rich lifestyle” he experienced while being treated in the U.S.
“I hope there are other people with kind heart who will donate dog food,” he said.
The newspaper says Bunggal has asked Anton Lim, the Philippine veterinarian who accompanied Kabang to the U.S., to temporarily care for the dog.
Bunggal has turned down offers from people wishing to adopt Kabang.
“… I said no. A lady from the United States even called me expressing her interest to adopt Kabang. I told them Kabang will stay with us and I entrusted everything to Dr. Lim for the dog’s care and medication. Lim has helped us a lot,” he said.
Lim said he and others are trying to improve the Bunggal’s living conditions. “We are looking at ways on how best to help them so that they can take better care of Kabang or make it easier for them to take care of her,” he said.
A city government-sponsored parade was held this morning. Kabang and Rudy Bunggal rode in the back of a pickup truck festooned with yellow balloons to the Municipal Hall, where Mayor Celso Lobregat bestowed the title “Pride of Zamboanga” on the dog
Kabang’s condition — she lost the top of her snout in the motorcycle’s wheel — attracted worldwide support, and donations from 45 countries paid for her extended treatment at the University of California, Davis, veterinary hospital.
Vets treated her for heartworm and a tumor before performing two facial surgeries. While they did not reconstruct the dog’s jaw or snout, they covered up exposed areas on her face to prevent infection.
Kabang leapt into the path of a motorcycle heading toward the daughter and niece of her owner in late 2011. The motorcycle’s front wheel ripped off her nose and the top her jaw. The girls were not injured.
(Top photo, Lim and Kabang, Hessische/Niedersächsische Allgemeine; bottom photo, Kabang arriving in Manilla, Associated Press)
Posted by John Woestendiek June 10th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bunggal, daughter niece, dog, dogs, family, girls, hero, hero dog, hero dog kabang, kabang, mixed breed, motorcade, motorcycle, parade, pets, philippines, saved, troubles