Abused dog gets new lease on life

Posted on October 14, 2012


Pedicab driver Roberto “Janjan” Solon, shown here playing with another alley dog, was instrumental in getting treatment for abused canine ‘Kenneth”. (VIDEO GRAB FROM TV 5)

Hungry and with no place to go, Kenneth appeared doomed to wander the streets and being chased away by people for his ugly and fearful appearance.

But pedicab driver Roberto “Janjan” Solon took in the six-month-old stray dog, whose upper face was hacked by his previous unnamed owner.

An operation and a few days later, Kenneth is headed for an animal shelter in Danao City,to Solon’s relief and regret.

“Kenneth is a like a son to me,” said Solon, a resident of barangay San Isidro, Talisay City.

Solon is set to receive a commendation from the Cebu South Dog Club Inc. (CSDCI) and the Island Rescue Organization (IRO) for taking in Kenneth, who saw the dog’s plight in a photo posted by Solon’s nephew on Facebook.

“He (Solon) is a guardian angel. He’s a good man. Obviously, he has a heart for animals,” said Nena Hernandez of IRO.

Before the operation, the dog’s nose, upper jaw and upper portion of his mouth dangled loosely from his chin.

Solon said he kept the dog roaming around their place for nearly two weeks.People disgusted with Kenneth’s appearance would shoo him away.

“He would reach the barbecue pit, sometimes the eatery and people would drive him away. At times, he would nearly get hit by tricycles,” Solon said.

Solon said he pitied the dog and adopted him last Sept. 29.

“His blood and saliva would always drip. I thought he would not survive on the streets. He couldn’t walk straight anymore because he had nothing to eat,” Solon said.

On taking him home, Solon immediately bathed and fed the dog. He named him Kenneth which is a play on the Cebuano word kinit-an or “found.”

“He was so hungry he was able to finish everything that I fed him,” Solon laughed.

An animal lover, Solon said he kept chickens, ducks and gold fish at home since he was a kid.

But his family wasn’t enthusiastic when he took the dog home. They found him repulsive as well.

Solon insisted on keeping the dog, and after a few days, his relatives grew fond of him.

It was at this time that Solon’s nephew posted a photo of Kenneth on Facebook last Wednesday, thinking that somebody might be interested in helping their newly adopted pet.

The photo caught the attention of animal advocates.

CSDCI president Guilliam Roque said they tied up with IRO to start an online fund-raising campaign for the dog’s facial operation. They opened a joint BDO account for donors.

The online campaign gathered a lot of support from netizens who felt sympathy for Kenneth.

“We were overwhelmed by the support we received, especially from international groups and private individuals,” Roque said.

Today, the amount of donations in their account reached 2,000 U.S. dollars.

CSDC members brought Kenneth and Solon to the Animal Wellness Veterinary Hospital where Dr. Luis Guillermo Zialcita did tests.

Kenneth is now wearing an Elizabethan collar so that he won’t be able to remove his stitches.

He is also being sedated to facilitate his healing. and given a soft diet.

The dog can only breathe on one side of his nose due to the swelling of his nostril.

Hernandez said Kenneth is a fighter who’s recuperating well from the facial operation done by eight doctors.

“Everything is stable. He ate a can of dog food. He just has to heal. He has gone through hell. He needs to rest,” Hernandez told Cebu Daily News.

Kenneth’s hacked face was sewn up by veterinarians (PHOTO/ DR. IVY ZIALCITA)

Roque said it would take about a month for Kenneth to heal, including a two-week stay in an animal hospital.

Once the dog fully recovers, Roque said Kenneth will be brought to the IRO’s animal shelter in Danao City.

“If it’s okay with Janjan, we will ask him to choose another dog from the animal shelter. We will keep Kenneth in Danao until there is l someone who is qualified to adopt him,” he said.

Roque said they were touched by what Solon has done and they feel very privileged to have met him.

He said they’re also trying to find out who hacked Kenneth, whose case is an eye-opener on animal cruelty.

Under Republic Act 8485 or the Philippine Animal Welfare Act, abuse against animals is punishable by imprisonment of 6 months to 2 years and a fine of P1,000 to P5,000 or both. /Patricia Andrea D. Pateña, Correspondent

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