Philippine snout-less dog gets hero's homecoming

A veterinarian holds Kabang, a mongrel dog, during a news conference, after her return to the Philippines after eight months of surgery and treatment in the US, in Makati, Metro Manila 8 June 2013. (Photo: Reuters / Erik De Castro)

MANILA (Reuters) - A shepherd-mix who lost its snout saving two girls returned on Sunday to its owner's home in the southern Philippines after eight months of veterinary treatment in the United States, earning a new title as "dog ambassador of goodwill".

On Saturday, two-year-old Kabang, its tail wagging, faced television cameras and fans at Manila International airport and toured a nearby upscale shopping mall and park frequented by dog lovers. The dog, a female, was an instant star.

Authorities are planning a short motorcade on Monday in honour of Kabang, which means "different colours" in local dialect, in the southern town of Zamboanga.

"What we want is to make her an ambassador of dog goodwill, and to promote responsible pet ownership," said Anton Lim, a veterinarian who accompanied Kabang to the University of California in Davis for surgery.

US doctors closed its facial wound but could no longer save and reconstruct its nose. Kabang also survived a cancerous tumour and heartworm.

"What we see here – she saved two lives, so the whole world actually came together to save her."

Last year, Kabang jumped in front of a speeding motorcycle to save two young girls in Zamboanga. People from around the world donated lunch money to raise US$27,000 (about S$34,000) for its medical treatment abroad.

Read report: Uphill path ahead to help dog with torn face, cancer

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