Earlier this year, 11-year-old Dina Bunggal and her 3-year-old cousin Princess Diansing were crossing a street in Zamboanga City, Philippines, when a speeding motorcycle lost control and barreled toward them.
The girls, trapped in the motorcycle’s path, would have been hit and possibly killed by the oncoming vehicle if it weren’t for their beloved dog Kabang (“spotty” in Visayan).
In a brave act of love, Kabang threw herself in front of the motorcycle, saving Dina’s and Princess’s lives. Dina, Princess, and the driver of the motorcycle walked away from the crash with minor cuts and bruises.
But sadly Kabang was gravely injured in the accident — when she jumped in front of the motorcycle, her face became lodged in the bike’s front wheel and her snout was torn off from the impact.
“The bones holding her upper snout were crushed, and we could not do anything to save it,” explained Rudy Bunggal, Dina’s father and Princess’s uncle. “We just pulled her off the wheel.”
Terrified and in excruciating pain, Kabang bolted from the scene. The dog didn’t return home until two weeks later. Kabang was alive, but now disfigured, and the Bunggal family rushed her to the veterinarian. Though the doctors suggested euthanasia, the family refused.
“It does not matter if she’s ugly now,” Rudy said. “What is important to us is she saved our children and we cannot thank her enough for that.”
Bunggal explained that the little girls share a close bond with Kabang. “They even sleep together,” he told News Inquirer. The strong relationship likely prompted Kabang to intervene when she saw that the girls were in danger.
Wife Christine Bunggal says that without Kabang, the little girls would certainly have been hit by the oncoming vehicle. “Kabang is a hero,” she told News Inquirer in February.
After saving the lives of two girls, it is now hero dog Kabang’s life that needs saving. Because of the injuries she sustained, Kabang is in need of an extensive surgery that is not available in the Philippines.
“The more time that goes by, the more Kabang is at risk of infection,” said U.S. Coordinator for the Animal Welfare Coalition Karen Kenngott. “Fungal infections can be especially difficult to eradicate and any infection in the bone can be a lengthy process to treat at best.”
“Her chances are better the sooner she can get those wounds closed,” Kenngott stressed.
Kabang’s best shot is to receive treatment in the United States, but at an estimated cost of $20,000 for the transportation to the states, the surgery, and the recovery process, the cost is too much for the Bunggal family to bear alone — Rudy Bunggal, who works in a vulcanizing shop, and his wife Christine, a candle maker, only bring home about $3.50 a day.
Thanks to donations from animal welfare organizations and the thousands of people around the world who have been touched by the brave dog’s story, Kabang will soon be able to receive the reconstructive surgery she needs to survive. She will soon be transported to the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of California Davis.
“Kabang is going to the U.S. with the help of many kind-hearted individuals and donors, who would like to see the dog…live longer,” veterinarian Dr. Anton Lim said in a Dog Heirs article. “Her story inspired many people, especially animal lovers.”