Photos from the FB account of animal rights advocate Theresa Marie Vidal.

(TRIGGER WARNING: This story has potentially upsetting content. Readers should exercise caution.)

Animal lovers and concerned citizens in Cebu City banded together to save a stray dog discovered in the mountainous barangay of Bonbon with a knife stuck in its head.

Theresa Marie Vidal, an animal rights advocate who led the rescue of the male Aspin dog named Bonbon because of where he was found, told Palawan News in a phone call that the knife has been taken out and he is now recovering.

“Ok naman siya ngayon. So far, maganda naman yong progress ng recovery niya (He’s fine now. So far, his recovery is going well),” Vidal, a member of the Cebu Rescuers Network, said.

After the dog’s story went viral on social media, donations to cover his surgery costs quickly piled up from netizens. It was performed by veterinarian Dr. Ryan Yandung.

Vidal said that Dr. Yandung explained that the only reason Bonbon didn’t die is because the knife’s tip missed his brain.

On November 9, Vidal, her friends, and other animal lovers rushed to his aid after street vendor Jezzrel Tabal and his son Jerson discovered him wandering around with a knife lodged in his head.

Tabal, she claimed, tried to save Bonbon but the dog was standoffish and would always flee. It took them two days to find and transport him to the veterinary clinic.

“Noong hindi siya ma-rescue ni Jezzrel, ang ginawa niya, piniktyuran na lang niya tapos ipinost niya sa social media para manawagan ng tulong. Ako naman nakita ko, nag-arrange na ako ng network ko to help. Ako yong nag-initiate nang rescue talaga (When Jezzrel was unable to save him, he took photos and posted them on social media to request assistance. When I saw it, I organized my network to help. Initiated the rescue),” Vidal said.

She stated that Bonbon does not have an owner; however, a local resident was providing him with food prior to his rescue.

While many people in Cebu City have expressed interest in adopting him, Vidal said that won’t happen until he has fully recovered.

“Actually, a lot of people are showing interest now to adopt Bonbon. But as of now, our main goal is to bring him back to health. He should fully recover, give him all the vaccines he needs, and also neuter him before he is discharged,” she added.

Vidal said that the assistance of the police had already been sought because there are no surveillance cameras in the area that could identify the suspect who committed the cruel act against Bonbon.

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has been with Palawan News since January 2019. She is its managing editor, overseeing and coordinating day-to-day editorial activities. Her writing interests are politics and governance, health, defense, investigative journalism, civic journalism, and the environment.