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Karen B. London
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Help for Disfigured Dog
From the Philippines to California for surgery

A dog in need of surgery is about to travel from her home in the Philippines to the United States for the medical care that’s not available where she is. Kabang has had a life filled with more adventures than most dogs. Her name means “spotty” in her family’s native language, and though that probably refers to her appearance, it certainly applies to her luck as well.

She was found as an abandoned puppy two years ago by Rudy Bunggal. Since his family struggles to acquire enough food, there was a very real possibility that she would find her way to their dinner table. Instead, though the Bunggals continue to face food shortages, Kabang remains a cherished pet who is closely bonded to Rudy’s daughter Dina and his niece Princess, and protective of them as well.

Her protective tendencies made this dog a national hero when she charged in front of a motorcycle that nearly hit Dina and Princess. The girls and the motorcyclist were merely bruised in the incident, but Kabang was not so lucky. Her face was caught in the spokes of the motorcycle, causing her to sustain terrible injuries. The accident, which saved the lives of two members of her family, resulted in the loss of a large part of her face.

After the accident, Kabang disappeared and she was feared dead until she showed up weeks later at home. It was at this time that her story made national and international headlines. Local veterinarians offered to euthanize her, but the Bunggals refused to allow it. Although she is not believed to be in pain currently, her injuries leave her susceptible to infection, and surgery is necessary to keep her healthy.

Surgery is expensive, though, especially when the care she needs is not available locally. Having heard about Kabang, a woman in New York set up the site careforkabang.com in order to raise money, and also convinced Philippine Airlines to donate the ticket to fly the dog and his guardian to the United States. The goal to raise $20,000 was recently reached, and Kabang will soon be headed to UC Davis for surgery. The reconstruction is an attempt to regain enough function in Kabang’s face that she can continue to be a happy, healthy family pet. She will still look very different than she did before the accident, no matter how successful the surgery is.

The world joined in to help this dog. To Kabang and her family, the help of many strangers will make a world of difference.

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Karen B. London, PhD, is a Bark columnist and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavior problems in the domestic dog.

photo by Anton Lim/courtesy of San Francisco Chronicle

CommentsPost a Comment
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Submitted by Carolyn | September 17 2012 |

It is truly difficult to see how she survived and continues to survive. Please keep us updated on Kabang's progress.

Submitted by Anonymous | October 16 2012 |

Let's continue to support Kabang and wish her well in her upcoming surgery!

Official website:
http://www.careforkabang.com/

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/careforkabang?fref=ts&filter=1

Update from UC Davis:
http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/vmth/small_animal/kabang/timeline.cfm

Submitted by AegeanBreeze | September 18 2012 |

This story truly warms my heart. I was fearful of clicking on the link (I received notices via RSS feed on my computer, with no pictures) because I didn't know what I might see. Though there is not hiding the poor honey's disfigurement, I hope after her surgery (and even before it), the pooch wears her face with pride. As we've all often been told, it's what is on the inside that truly matters - and this is the perfect example. God bless all those that donated and made this surgery possible. I hope this dog lives a very, very long and happy life.

Submitted by Karen London | October 12 2012 |

I hope people will be interested in this update on Kabang. She has come to the US and arrived at the veterinary hospital at UC Davis, accompanied by her local vet. Her guardian remained at home due to passport and visa issues. Here's a link to a recent article about her:

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Snout-less-hero-dog-Kabang-arrives...

Submitted by Karen London | June 6 2013 |

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