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 jwoestendiek 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
In the old days, when a newspaper columnist started writing about his dog, it meant — at least in the eyes of your more crusty and jaundiced types — he or she had run out of things to write about.
Of course, it (usually) wasn’t true then. And it’s even less true now.
Newspapers, as they did with the Internet, have belatedly realized that dog stories are important, that dog stories draw readers, and that dog stories are actually human stories, in disguise. They’ve finally begun to catch on to dog’s new place on the social ladder, and the wonders within them, and the serious issues surrounding them, and that they are far more than just cute.
None of which probably mattered to Steve Lopez when he decided last week to tell the story of his family’s new rescue … rescue-me-again … rescue-me-one-more time … dog.
Who is also pretty cute.
Lopez, a columnist for the Los Angeles Times, decided with his wife that their daughter, at age 9, was ready for a dog. Their search took them to Tailwaggers, a pet store in Hollywood, where adoption fairs are hosted by Dogs Without Borders. Though dogless for many years, Lopez knew rescuing a mutt — as opposed to purchasing a purebred — was the preferred route these days.
Canine ownership has gotten a lot more complicated than it was when he was a kid, noted Lopez, who definitely has a crusty side.
“First of all, unless you want a rescue dog, you face the withering judgment of do-gooders who have devoted their lives to saving pups from the boneyard,” he wrote. “…I live in Silver Lake, not far from a sprawling dog park. And if an abandoned infant were spotted on the curb of that busy corner, across the street from a dog with a thorn in its paw, I guarantee you dozens of people with porkpie hats and tattooed peace signs would rush to the aid of the dog instead of the child.”
At the adoption fair, his family became enchanted with a 3-year-old Corgi mixed named Hannah, who was described as “a very timid, shy and fearful little girl ” in need of “a home where she can blossom!”
(As Lopez, author of “The Soloist” and other books, may have noticed, those involved in the world of rescuing and rehoming dogs tend to use a lot of exclamation points!)
They then began the adoption process, which, he noted, required many forms: “As I recall, applying for a mortgage wasn’t quite as involved. And many of the agencies insist on a home inspection, as well as a donation fee of up to $450.”
They took Hannah home for a trial period, as a foster. There, unlike at the fair, she refused to walk on a leash.
To get her to go to the bathroom, Lopez says he carried the dog, who they renamed Ginger, to the bottom of the driveway. Given she didn’t move when he put her down, and to build some trust, he said, Lopez unhooked the leash.
Ginger took off.
Lopez ran to his car and began the search.
“My daughter had waited five years for this pup, and I’d lost her in five minutes.”
His wife called the adoption agency to report the escape and got a scolding for letting the dog off her leash. “I must admit, they had told us rescue dogs can be runners, and that we shouldn’t let them off the leash,” Lopez wrote. “On the other hand, if you’re going to call yourself Dogs Without Borders … what message are you sending?”
They searched all day, put up fliers, and posted Ginger on Craigslist as a missing dog. The next day, they found her on a neighbor’s patio and took her home.
The next day, a Monday, Lopez returned from work to learn Ginger had jerked away while being walked and disappeared again, this time dragging her leash. Reasoning that maybe Ginger didn’t want to be there, he and his wife agreed that — once they found her again — they might want to return her.
“Maybe she’d been abused, but it seemed unlikely she’d ever be the warm and cuddly family pet we wanted our daughter to have.”
On Tuesday morning, Lopez was awaked by a scratching sound on the front door. When he opened it, Ginger walked in, her leash still attached. That sight, it seems, cut right through the columnist’s crusty parts.
“We’re keeping this dog,” he said.
I’d be willing to bet they do, and that someday — when there’s nothing else to write about, or even when there is — we’ll be reading about her again.
(Photo of Ginger by Steve Lopez / Los Angeles Times)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 7th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, author, best friend, column, columnist, corgi, dog, dogs, dogs without borders, family, ginger, hannah, home, leash, los angeles, los angeles times, media, mix, news, newspapers, pets, rescue, runaway, soloist, steve lopez, tailwaggers
Excited dogs greeting returning soldiers have become an Internet staple, but here’s one with a special twist.
Emma, a pitbull mix who suffers from a congenital anomaly that affects her spine — leaving her front legs only partially functioning and her back legs useless — didn’t let that stop her when her human returned from a six-month deployment.
She pulled and slid herself across the floor to greet him, along with the other two family dogs.
Melissa Swanson uploaded the video of her returning husband and excited dogs on YouTube.
“Emma and her daddy were very close! It broke her heart when he left,” she wrote. “When I come in the door, she normally sits at the end of the hallway and waits for me to pick her up. This time, when her daddy came in, she went to him … Gotta love homecomings!”
The Swansons heard of Emma through SNARR (Special Needs Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation), and became her foster parents. They’ve since decided to adopt her. They’re still trying to find the perfect cart for Emma — one that will require her to keep using her front legs without putting too much pressure on them.
You can learn more about Emma on her Facebook page.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 26th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopt, animals, congenital, deployment, dog, dogs, emma, family, foster, greeting, hemivertebrae, homecoming, homecomings, pets, returning, reunion, snarr, soldier, soldiers, special needs animal rescue and rehabilitation, spinal, swanson, video, war
As often as we bring you stories of police officers shooting dogs, it’s only right that we pass along news of cops who go out of their way to help one.
Seattle police officer Eric Michl went pretty far out of his way – helping to find a temporary home for the dog of a man he arrested, and driving on his day off from Seattle to Vancouver to place the dog with a foster family.
Last month, Michl pulled over a van that had changed lanes without signaling and arrested the driver, Juan Crespo, on a charge of driving under the influence. Crespo, the officer learned, also had a warrant from San Diego, where he was wanted for burglary. Also in the van was Crespo’s dog — a German shepherd named Liana — who had commited no offense.
Michl loaded her into the back of his police car and, as Crespo was being booked, drove her to the Seattle Animal Shelter.
On the way, Liana stuck her nose through the partition and licked his ear.
San Diego, it turned out, wanted Crespo extradited, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Between that attempt, which Crespo is fighting, and the local charges, it looked like it would be a while before his court cases came to a conclusion — far longer than the amount of time the Seattle Animal Shelter keeps unclaimed dogs.
That weighed on Michl. He checked with the shelter to see if it could hold Liana for the duration of Crespo’s court case. It couldn’t. That’s when Michl contacted Crespo’s defense attorney. Highly irregular. And highly cool.
“I just felt really bad that this dog and her owner would have to be separated,” Michl said. ” … Separating her from her owner would be an injustice. It wouldn’t be fair for the dog and for him.”
Working with the defense attorney, Megan Giske, Michl tried to locate someone from Crespo’s family to foster Liana, but they couldn’t find an appropriate home.
That’s when Michl turned to Facebook.
“She deserves a chance to live a full and happy life,” he wrote in a post. “If you know of anyone interested, please get a hold of me. I can provide details of her evaluation by the kennel manager.”
This past weekend, a friend of the suspect’s sister agreed to take Liana until Crespo is released.
The Seattle Animal Shelter gave Liana vaccinations and installed a microchip, waiving any fees.
He met the new foster parents at the Vancouver police station, and he reports that the friend, her two children and Liana all appeared happy with the new arrangement.
What got into Michl? And why can’t more police officers show canines that kind of compassion? We can’t answer the second question, but the Post-Intelligencer article provides some insight into the first.
In an interview, Michl spoke of his dog, Tommy, who died last last April. When Michl had to leave his son alone for nighttime patrols, Tommy, a black Lab, would sleep on his bed. Tommy died at age 8 of cancer, but the memory of him is still strong.
“Your dogs never leave you, no matter what,” Michl said.
Maybe it was that memory, or the lick from Liana while she was in the backseat. Perhaps even Crespo entered into the equation as well. Maybe, while Michl went far beyond the call of duty, it was just smart police work.
“I’m hoping once he’s out of jail he’ll remember that someone cared enough to do this for him and his dog.”
(Photos: Courtesy of Eric Michl, via Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 6th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal shelter, animals, arrest, attorney, beyond, burglary, call of duty, compassion, courts, dog, dogs, drunk driving, duty, eric michl, extradition, facebook, family, foster, german shepherd, good cop, juan crespo, law enforcement, liana, officer, pets, police, seattle, shelter, suspect, vancouver
Mark Buehrle, the Miami Marlins pitcher traded to the Toronto Blue Jays last November, will be leaving his dogs and family behind when the season opens, due to Ontario’s ban on pit bulls.
One of the Buehrle family’s four dogs, Slater, falls under the government’s pit bull ban, so Buehrle’s wife Jamie, their children and their dogs will remain in Florida until the end of the school year, then return to their off-season home in the St. Louis area.
The Toronto Star reports it will be the first time in his career that Buehrle has spent the summer away from his wife and children.
It’s not the first time, though, that the family has been inconvenienced because of their love for pit bulls in general, and Slater in particular.
When Buehrle was traded to the Marlins, from the White Sox, his family couldn’t live in the Miami-Dade area, because of a similar ban, and located in Broward County instead.
“Other families have gone through things and they’ve made it work. And I will see my dogs when I can,” Buehrle said of the Toronto situation during spring training last week.”
Buehrle, who also has three Vizslas, said he didn’t even consider the suggestion that he try and sneak his pit bull mix into Toronto, or that he put Slater in a kennel in order to have his family by his side in Toronto.
“Being a responsible pet owner, you can’t drop off the dog on someone else,” he said. “If you try and bring the dog anyways and think you can (hide it), you’re taking a chance, and then (if you get caught) the dog sits in a cage for a month or more or however long until the court date comes up.”
Both Buehrle and his wife have worked extensively to raise public awareness about pit bulls.
“The big thing is to bring awareness of the breed, that’s what this is all about,” he said. “I won’t see my dog for a while but bringing awareness for the breed ban is important for me.”
Posted by jwoestendiek February 19th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, baseball, behind, breed bans, buehrle, dogs, family, major league baseball, mark buehrle, miami marlins, ontario, pets, pit bull bans, pit bulls, pitbull bans, pitbulls, pitcher, slater, stay, toronto blue jays
The arrests of a couple accused of running a dogfighting operation in Chester County has led Pennsylvania congressmen to renew calls for tougher laws.
Rep. Jim Gerlach, of West Pikeland, and Rep. Pat Meehan, of Delaware County, both Republicans, urged passage of a bill that would make it a federal offense to attend an organized animal fight.
“As former prosecutors we know how crucial it is for law enforcement to have all of the tools necessary to deprive the organizers of these horrific events from receiving the financial rewards they need to continue the criminal enterprises,” Meehan and Marino said in a joint statement.
“With passage of this bill, we can give federal prosecutors more ability to crack down on animal fighting and the criminal culture that typically surrounds animal fighting events.”
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Tom Marino, a Pennsylvania Republican, and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, was passed by the Senate last week, but remains in the House Agriculture Committee.
Despite bipartisan support, the bill could die if no action is taken before the end of the year.
Called the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, the bill would also institute harsher penalties for bringing minors to animal fights.
Shane Santiago and his wife Laura Acampora, both 33, were arrested last week for allegedly operating a dogfighting ring out of the home they shared with five young children in West Brandywine.
Officials accused the couple of contributing to the death of at least 10 dogs and the maiming of many more that were forced to fight in an arena in the basement of the couple’s home. Two of the dogs were found in Chester County, left for dead at the side of the road. One survived.
Santiago and Acampora are charged with over 30 counts of animal cruelty and numerous other offenses. Both remain in Chester County Prison, according to the Pottstown Mercury.
(Photo: One of the dogs seized from the West Brandywine dogfighting operation)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 18th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animal fighting, arena, basement, bill, chester county, congress, couple, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogfights, family, house, jim gerlach, laura acompora, law, legislation, pass, passage, pat meehan, pennsylvania, senate, shane santiago, spectator prohibition act
A photo Vick posted on Twitter shows a box of Milk Bones at the edge of the frame, indicating he might have gotten the family a pet, as he has recently mentioned he was considering.
Then again, they could be part of his diet. Or maybe they just keep them on hand for visiting pets, though I’d doubt there’d be too many of those.
In the photo, Vick is shown studying a game film on an iPad, while his daughter appears to be doing homework. At the edge of the picture, there’s an opened box of Milk Bones.
“It’s not hard to connect the dots from there,” Chris Chase wrote in his USA Today blog
The picture was quickly deleted and replaced by a similar, biscuit-less one, Chase wrote.
Under terms of his probation, Vick was ordered not to own a dog for three years. That period expired several months ago. In July, Vick, in an interview with Piers Morgan, said he’d like to get a dog for his children.
“I can’t take that dream away from them,” he said.
While his ownership of a dog would be legal now, it’s bound to be a source of contention among those dog lovers who still harbor a great deal of resentment toward the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback who admitted to drowning, electrocuting and beating to death dogs that did not perform in the dogfighting ring.
Vick, as part of his rehabilitation, has been working with the Humane Society of the United States, speaking to young people about the importance of treating dogs humanely.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 8th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, biscuits, court, daughter, dog, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, eagles, expired, family, michael vick, milk bones, order, ownership, pets, philadelphia, photo, prison, probation, quarterback, terms, treats, twitter, vick
A veterinarian in Cabarrus County is asking for the public’s help in returning the dog, named Shorty, to his first family, even though Shorty has lived nearly seven years with new caretakers.
Shorty was spotted on a roadway in Cabarrus County about two weeks ago, according to NEWS14, and when the vet checked for a microchip Shorty’s original owner’s name came up.
“We traced the dog to Louisiana and thank goodness the gentleman did not change his cell phone number,” said Brenda Tortoreo, the receptionist at Cabarrus Animal Hospital.
That family had given Shorty up seven years ago when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, said said Dr. Blake Peurifoy, a veterinarian at Cabarrus Animal Hospital who has been treating the dog.
“They (the owners) were hit really hard during Katrina. They lost their home and didn’t have the ability to take care of their dog so they gave it away. They don’t know where it went from there,” Peurifoy told NBC.
Shorty is now 15, and has spent almost half of his life with his new owners, who came forward when Shorty appeared on the TV news. They live in Concord, N.C.
WCNC reports that a teenager called the station on Sunday after seeing news reports about the found dog. Ta’layza Miller and her grandmother, Oclisha Miller, who adopted Shorty from a Concord shelter more than six years ago, said he’d been missing since September 10.
Unlike Shorty’s first family, the second didn’t have a microchip installed.
The family said they understand why Shorty’s original family in Louisiana wants him back and that, given the circumstances, they don’t object.
“Since they lost everything in Hurricane Katrina and they lost him … I wouldn’t mind them keeping him or anything because it was their dog first,” said 15-year-old Ta’layza said.
Given the second family’s agreement, the veterinary hospital plans to get Shorty back to the original family in Lousiana — but he needs some medical attention first.
The hospital is treating Shorty free of charge, and is hoping someone will volunteer to help transport Shorty back to Louisiana when the time comes — probably around two weeks.
“I don’t want to add additional hardship to them … With it’s heart condition and the condition his mouth is in, it’s like saying, ‘Here. Here’s your sick dog back and you’ve got $2,000 worth of stuff to deal with in his mouth,’” said Peurifoy.
The hospital is interested in hearing from people who might be able to take Shorty to Louisiana.
“I know these people have had the past seven years or so a hard life. Thank God I’m not in their position, and we just hope this serves as a sort of a bright spot for them because they certainly deserve it,” said Peurifoy.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 25th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, Blake Peurifoy, cabarrus animal hospital, cabarrus county, concord, dog, family, found, given up, hurricane, katrina, lost, louisiana, microchip, n.c., new orleans, north carolina, owners, shorty, surrendered, veterinarian, wandering
It was one of those heartwarming dog-reunited-with-family stories: Rogue, a missing Peruvian herding dog whose owner was killed in a car accident, had been found and was to be returned to the owner’s family.
As Sara Quinn — the girlfriend of the accident victim’s cousin — hugged the big black dog, news media recorded the event, having been invited by the Central California Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Quinn, 27, said the family had been searching for the dog, and that she planned to bring him back to their ranch in Friant.
But Rogue, the allegedly missing dog was a she, and the dog Quinn was hugging was a he — and he wasn’t the Erickson family’s dog at all.
In fact, the Erickson’s dog was never even missing.
After the Monday reunion, the story — told by the Fresno Bee and others — began unraveling.
Joe Erickson, 61 — father of Richard Erickson, who died after the car crash – saw news reports about the reunion on TV. He called The Bee to say his family’s dog, Rogue, was safe at home and she never had been missing.
He said he had no idea why Quinn manufactured the story.
Tuesday night, Quinn said she wasn’t trying to trick anyone, and that she thought she was doing a good deed by orchestrating a reunion of the dog with its owner’s family, the Bee reported.
The false Rogue, after Quinn adopted him from the shelter, was returned to the SPCA, where he awaits his rightful owner, or adoption.
CCSPCA spokeswoman Beth Caffrey said Tuesday, “we do the best we can to give animals the right opportunity. Unfortunately, we were all misled by this adoption” The CCSPCA is “grateful to have the dog back in our possession,” she said.
The CCSPCA had sent a news release out on Monday, recounting Quinn’s story of having found the family’s missing dog at the shelter. At Monday’s news conference, Caffrey said police had found the dog on the streets on Aug. 13. He was taken in by the shelter and put up for adoption on Aug. 21. Quinn called on Aug. 23 to claim him.
At the press conference, Quinn said she planned to surprise Richard Erickson’s mother by taking the dog to the ranch that evening. She wept and hugged the dog when he was brought out to her.
Tuesday night, Quinn admitted she had “created a big mess.”
(Photo: Fresno Bee)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 29th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, adoption, animals, central california spca, deception, dog, dogs, fake, family, fresno bee, heartwarming, news, news media, peruvian hunting dog, pets, reunion, reunited, richard erickson, rogue, sara quinn, shelters, spca, staged, victim
A survey by the Kennel Club in the UK has found that one of every three respondents thinks a dog fits their lifestyle better than a child.
Nearly four of every ten people say a dog is a happy alternative to having a child.
And one in four say that, while their children come first, they prefer to go on outings with their dogs, according to the poll, conducted among residents of the West Midlands.
The same, apparently, goes for their spouses. According to The Express, 80 percent described their their dog as attentive and loving, while only about half said the same was true of their partner.
The Kennel Club commissioned the poll as part of its campaign to get more restaurants to allow dogs.
About half of those questioned said they had a problem finding a place to eat where their dog is welcomed.
“This research proves what a well loved member of the family a dog is in the West Midlands,” said Caroline Kisko, the Kennel Club secretary. “Given how much we love spending time with our dogs, it’s surprising there are still so many businesses in the region that refuse to allow dogs in their premises.”
As part of its campaign, the Kennel Club has compiled a website, openfordogs.org.uk, listing more than 26,000 places throughout the UK and Europe that let pets inside.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 24th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: affection, animals, campaign, children, company, dog, dog friendly, dogs, families, family, kennel club, members, outings, partners, pets, poll, restaurants, spouses, survey, uk