A dog hailed as a hero in the Philippines after it lost half its face while saving two girls from being hit by a motorcycle a decade ago has died.
Owner Anton Mari Lim announced Kabang’s death on Facebook this week, sparking an outpouring of grief and tributes on social media for the 13-year-old mutt. Her former owner, Rudy Bunggal, the father of one of the children she saved, passed away in 2018.
Born in February 2008, Kabang became an internet sensation in 2011 after local media reported how she had saved the lives of two girls crossing a busy road by deliberately leaping in front of a motorbike.
“You have always been a hero, selfless to a fault,” wrote the vet, who first treated Kabang and later adopted her.
JOIN THE CELEBRATION OF KABANG’S HEROISM AND LEGACY
In celebration of the love, inspiration and legacy of KABANG our HERO DOG, we would like to invite you to join us on May 20, 2021 at 9am (PH) along with Team Kabang and the people who were with her during her meaningful journey. pic.twitter.com/WLfjRrenug
— Now You Know (@nowyouknowph) May 19, 2021
“I will miss you jumping over the gate to greet me every time I get home, staying beside me when I work in the garden or acting like a supervisor when I mow the lawn. You were just there.”
In the accident, Kabang’s snout and part of her jaw were torn off when the motorcycle flipped over, also damaging an eyelid.
An online fundraising drive raised more than $27 000 (R379 000) to treat her wounds in the United States. Her face was partially rebuilt, but efforts to fit a prosthetic snout and jaw were abandoned.
Kabang died in her sleep on Monday, Lim said in the Facebook post, which has been liked and shared thousands of times.
“Run free Kabang,” said many of the hundreds of comments on the post.
Kabang’s remains will be kept in a concrete vault at the foot of a solid aluminium statue of her in the southern city of Zamboanga that was funded by an American fan.
Kabang was also proclaimed an “ambassador of dogwill”, making her the official symbol of responsible pet ownership and advocacy against animal cruelty.