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Half-snout ‘heroine’ bitch set for $20,000 face surgery in US

Kabang, the uninsured mongrel in the Philippines became an overnight heroine when her snout and the upper jaw were sliced off as she reportedly threw herself into the path of a speeding motorcycle just as it was about to hit two young girls crossing a roadway in Zamboanga City.

The lunge, prevented death or serious injury to the daughter and niece of Kabang's owner, but the motorcycle's spokes sheared off much of the dog's face. Word of the “hero dog” spread around the world, and a remarkable grass-roots campaign started after photographs of her gruesome injury began to circulate.

Kabang, had her snout and upper jaw sheared off when she leapt in front of a speeding motorcycle just before Christmas last year in an apparent attempt to save two little girls in Zamboanga City, Philippines. The dog, which has become a national hero and an
international sensation, is being brought to UC Davis for reconstructive surgery.

The canine, has only half a snout. Her tongue lolls impossibly out of her skull. Watching her attempt to eat a mound of rice is heartbreaking.

But, donors from around the world have pitched in enough cash ($20,000) to fly Kabang to the US for re-constructive facial surgery.

She was brought to the veterinary hospital after donations from 20 countries poured in, enough to pay for airfare and treatment. Facebook and Twitter accounts, the website careforkabang.com and pet lovers’ blogs, many of which have considerable followings in San Francisco and around the Bay Area, were an integral part of the effort.

Kabang was brought to the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, at UC Davis, where a team of veterinarians looked over her wounds.

The gruesome injury puts her in grave danger of developing an infection. At minimum, the gaping wound must be closed, a delicate procedure that is beyond the capability of veterinarians in the Philippines. It turned out Kabang's ghastly wound was only part of the problem. Veterinarians found the hound also had heart worm, a parasitic roundworm, spread by mosquitoes, that can cause congestive heart failure. The veterinarians said worms were seen in her pulmonary arteries.

The miracle mutt was also diagnosed with an aggressive sexually-transmitted cancer, called progressive venereal tumour. Both ailments are common in tropical and subtropical regions where dogs run loose, veterinarians say.

The four-legged heroine recently completed six weekly intravenous chemotherapy infusions. She was given antibiotics and monthly heart-worm prevention medication throughout, but full-on treatment to get rid of the worms had to wait until the cancer treatment was finished. She had the first of three powerful arsenic-based heart worm shots.

Kabang is now at a nearby medical boarding facility on forced bed rest to prevent the dead worms from circulating in her bloodstream and causing clots. The final two doses of heart-worm medicine are planned 24 hours apart in the second week of January. It will be one to two months for her to recover from that before she goes in and has the surgery.

The hospital surgeons are currently planning two or three separate procedures, the first involving dental work, extractions and the covering of exposed roots. After that, the surgeons will try to close the gaping wound and restore whatever nasal functions they can.

“We are pleased with what we discovered,” said Frank Verstraete, one of the veterinary surgeons who conducted an hour-long exam that included blood and urine tests. “We are confident we can improve her condition going forward.”

Verstraete and fellow surgeon Boaz Arzi said they anticipate that Kabang will need at least two surgeries over the next six weeks, one focusing on dental work and the other to close the gaping wound on her face. The campaign to help Kabang was spearheaded by Karen Kenngott, a longtime critical care nurse from Buffalo, N.Y., who organised a fund-raising campaign that raised more than $20,000 in donations from 20 different countries, enough to pay for surgery, airfare, visas, passports and a hotel stay for the dog and her handlers.

Kabang, referred to in newspapers in the Philippines as the “hero dog,” flew into Los Angeles International Airport with Anton Lim, her local veterinarian. Her owner, Rudy Bunggal, had to stay home apparently because he could not locate a valid birth certificate and was unable to obtain a visa or passport. Kabang's unprecedented journey actually began nearly two years ago in a swamp near Zamboanga, when the 57-year-old Bunggal found an abandoned puppy in a paddy field.

He initially kept the dog with the intention of fattening it up and feeding it to his family, a practice that is not uncommon in the Philippines, but his daughter, Dina, 11, and niece, Princess, 3, grew close to the dog, according to numerous published accounts.

They named her Kabang, which means “spotty” in their native Visayan language, and the dog became very protective of the girls.


Police officer’s chase after himself

An undercover police officer “chased himself round the streets” for 20 minutes after a CCTV operator mistook him for a suspect.

This is a funny and an embarrassing experience for a probationary police officer from Sussex Police, UK, which appeared in the Police Magazine published by Police Federation. The junior officer, who had not been named, was monitoring an area hit by a series of burglaries in an unnamed market town in the country’s south. As he searched for suspects, the CCTV camera operator radioed that he had seen someone “acting suspiciously” in the area.

But he failed to realise that it was actually the plain-clothed officer he was watching on the screen.

The operator directed the officer, who was on foot patrol, as he followed the “suspect” on camera, telling his colleague on the ground that he was “hot on his heels”.The officer spent around 20 minutes giving chase before a sergeant came into the CCTV control room, recognised the “suspect” and laughed hysterically at the mistake.

Sussex police were unable to provide further details of the incident, the officers involved or where it occurred. The senior officer, believed to be the PC's sergeant, told the monthly magazine: “An officer who joined a team in Sussex as a new probationary officer was soon very keen to do any plain-clothes operations and be as proactive as possible.

“He would be waiting at the end of his shift hoping to be unleashed for a further couple of hours of plain-clothes duties.

“On one such occasion in a little market town in Sussex which has suffered a spate of town centre shop break-ins, officers were on plain-clothed foot patrol when a report was received of a suspect male in one of the side roads.”

“The CCTV operator soon had the suspect on camera and everywhere he saw the male the keen PC was on his heels - radioing in to say he was in the same street.” He said: “Every time the man darted in to another side alleyway, the PC was turning immediately into the same alleyway, but every time the CCTV operator asked what he could see there was no trace.”

It was at this point that the sergeant entered the control room where he recognised the junior officer. “With the sergeant's sides aching from laughter he pointed out to the PC that the operator had been watching him unaware that he was a pain-clothes officer - thus the PC had been chasing himself round the streets.”

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