As first reported by Inquirer, Kabang, the hero dog who lost her snout saving two young girls from being run over, has passed on Monday evening on her bed in Barangay Pasonanca, Zamboanga del Sur. Kabang was 13 years old.
According to the report, Dr. Anton Lim, the veterinarian who has been taking care of Kabang since the death of his owner back in 2015, he found the dog on Monday motionless on her bed.
“I’m very sad to inform you that I found Kabang dead in her bed with no prior sign,” said Lim. “It happened between 4 and 7 p.m.,” he said. “I last played with her at 4 p.m. and was supposed to feed her again her dinner. I found her motionless with no external sign or prior sickness. She died in her sleep,” Lim said to Inquirer.
It was back in December 2011 when Kabang, a mixed-breed aspin, fearlessly jumped in front of a speeding motorcycle to save two young girls, 11-year-old Dina Bunggal and her cousin, three-year-old Princess Diansing, who were about to cross the street. The two children came out unscathed, but Kabang’s snout and upper jaw were severed.
Kabang’s accident attracted worldwide sympathy, leading to a campaign that sought to send Kabang to the United States to undergo facial reconstruction surgery. It was also Dr. Lim who flew Kabang to the US. There, Kabang was operated on by doctors at the University of California, who also treated her for tumor and heartworms, an entire procedure that cost $27,000.
Luckily, the overwhelming support also translated to financial assistance from about 45 countries. “This is the first time in the history of the Philippines that we’ve seen such support for a dog,” said Ed Unson, another Filipino vet and one of Kabang’s handlers.
Kabang came back home with a gaping hole in his face, but the hero dog was nonetheless greeted by cheers and well wishes when he landed at the NAIA International Report. He reunited shortly after with his owner, Rudy Bunggal, in Zamboanga where they lived together until the latter died in 2015.
Despite his disfigured face, Kabang still has control over her two remaining molars which allow her to chew food, as well as her nose which can still smell her owners well enough to recognize them.
Last March, Inquirer also reported that Kabang was to be honored with a 1.2-meter statue to be created by Mindanao artist Kublai Millan. “The statue will serve as a testament to a dog’s unconditional love,” Lim said. “It will be a constant reminder to us of that love and why we have to love them and for us to serve as their voice and protect them against animal cruelty.”
Run free, Kabang!