| Canis lupus familiaris|
| February 29, 2001 (age 16)
Philippines (2001-02-29) |
Saving the lives of two children in a motorcycle accident
Kabang (Visayan for "Spotty") is a shepherd mix Askal from Zamboanga City, Philippines, who became internationally famous and was described as a "hero dog" when she rescued two children from a potentially fatal motorcycle crash.
Kabang is a dog that was adopted by Rudi Bunggal as a stray puppy. In December 2011, Bunggal's 9-year-old daughter Dina and a 3-year-old cousin, Princess Diansing, attempted to cross a busy street in the path of a motorcycle. Seeing the danger, Kabang jumped at the motorcycle, knocking it over. According to eyewitnesses, the girls did not see the motorcycle coming and would have been seriously injured if not for Kabang. The motorcycle driver and the children suffered only minor bruises from the accident. Kabang, however, got caught in the front wheel of the motorcycle. "The bones holding her upper snout were crushed, and we could not do anything to save it", said Bunggal. "We just pulled her off the wheel". Kabang ran off, but re-emerged at the family home about two weeks later.
In the accident, Kabang had suffered extensive injuries to her nose and upper jaw but Bunggal refused to have the dog euthanized. Kabang, heralded by the Philippine press as a hero, had difficulty eating but otherwise continued living normally and even became pregnant. However, over time her open mouth led to an infection, and as long as it remained open she was at serious risk for further problems. Kabang was given antibiotics, but repairing her face via surgery was beyond the means of the Bunggal family.
In February 2012, Karen Kenngott, a nurse from upstate New York, saw Kabang's story on the Internet and decided to help. She organized a grassroots fundraiser called "Care for Kabang". Initial efforts were unsuccessful, but with the help of the Animal Welfare Coalition, the campaign was relaunched in the summer of 2012. They met their goal within four weeks. The campaign also greatly increased Kabang's fame internationally. "She has become a superstar," said Bunggal in July 2012. "People come here to have their photos taken with the dog."
Kabang was brought to the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at UC Davis in the United States during October 2012 to undergo a specialized surgery. Preliminary evaluations revealed that Kabang had heartworms and a transmissible venereal tumor, a type of cancer. She began chemotherapy a week after arriving. Because of Kabang's preexisting conditions, surgery was delayed until March 2013 as she was treated. The surgery was a success and Kabang was released from UC Davis' care on June 3, 2013. The US$27,000 total cost of the treatments and surgery was paid for by donations from people in 47 different countries.
Kabang arrived back in the Philippines on June 8, where she was given a hero's welcome in her home town of Zamboanga. Veterinarian Anton Lim remarked "[Kabang is] as normal as she can be. She doesn't need any special medication. So aside from the aesthetic, she's normal."