DAVIS, Calif. - When news of how a dog from the Philippines lost her snout and upper jaw after saving the lives of two young girls from an oncoming motorcycle in 2011, people from all over world pitched in to help fund her medical treatment.
Donors reached out to ‘Kabang,’ a 2-year old mixed shepherd from Zamboanga through the public Facebook page called, "Care for Kabang." Created by Karen Kenngott, a nurse from New York, she read about Kabang's story and decided to do something to help.
Messages for Kabang started pouring in. The international community managed to raise more than $27,000 for Kabang's treatment and surgery at the veterinary teaching hospital at the University of California-Davis.
"At last count, we had donations coming in from 45 countries. It's heartwarming," Kenngott shared.
Kenngott added that some college students would not eat out and some elementary school students would save a part of their allowance, just so they can donate what they saved to Kabang.
"She saved lives. It's our turn to save hers," Kabang' s veterinarian from Zamboanga, Anton Lim stressed.
Kabang was finally released from the hospital on Tuesday. There, she went through dental and surgical procedures, as well as treatments for heartworm disease and a contagious venereal tumor.
She did not get a prosthetic snout, as earlier speculated but all her wounds have been closed, protecting her from infection.
"In the current state of veterinary surgery, the reconstruction of her face is not really feasible. It would require very intensive after-care, which will be very difficult and impossible to provide for Kabang," surgeon, Dr. Frank Verstraete said.
Verstraete explained that the accident left Kabang with no nose.
"There were teeth that could not be saved as well. They were extracted in the process and then we just covered the whole defect with soft tissue flaps," he said.
Kabang may not have her entire face back but she functions like any normal dog.
She is active and has taken a liking for chew toys. She is healthy and loves to eat sweet bread and drink warm water. She is alert and still follows commands in her native dialect.
This hero dog is scheduled to return to her owners in Zamboanga on Thursday night via Philippine Airlines from San Francisco.