WATCH | Kei the 'superstar' dog on road to full recovery after being shot during home invasion

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  • Kei, a rescue dog, returned home after suffering a gunshot wound to the face while protecting its family during a home invasion.
  • Sarah Lamont, Kei's owner, said she was a "superstar" and that she was recovering well. The family has been feeding the dog through a tube.
  • Kei is expected to undergo reconstructive surgery to the jaw after enough money was raised through a BackaBuddy campaign.

"Superstar" rescue dog Kei, that saved its family during a home invasion, is recovering well at home and is expected to have reconstructive surgery soon.

This, after enough money was raised through a BackaBuddy campaign, the dog's owner said.

Kei's owner, preschool teacher Sarah Lamont, told News24:

She's a little uncomfortable at this stage, having a muzzle, head cone and bandage, with a tube in her neck for feeding but she is recovering well.

Kei was adopted from the Boksburg SPCA only a year ago.

Two armed robbers broke into the Lamont family's home in Lakefield, Benoni about a month ago.

Lamont said Kei was sleeping on their daughter's bed when the intruders came up the stairs. The dog chased them out of the house but didn't escape a gunshot wound to the face. The family's smaller dog, Holly, was shot dead.

Very nervous, traumatised

The bullet entered the side of Kei's nose, shattered two top molars, severely injured the dog's tongue and broke its jaw. Kei was rushed to a veterinary hospital and a veterinarian performed an initial surgery to repair the dog's tongue and bullet wounds, but Kei's jaw has to be reconstructed.

"A few days later the vet eventually called us and said 'she needs to come home'!" Lamont said.

The family went to see Kei and found the pooch crying on the veterinary floor.

"She obviously thought that she wasn't coming home, but as soon as we put her lead on and walked out of the vet, you wouldn't believe the change in her disposition. She even had a little spring in her step," Lamont said.

When Kei returned home, she was very nervous and quite traumatised.

"She went straight to sniff the bullet holes in the cupboard and investigated the area where she had chased the intruders out of the property," she said.

'It brings tears to my eyes'

But now Kei is in high spirits and happy to be home with the family. The family has to feed Kei through a neck tube and clean the canine's wounds, which Lamont said was "exhausting".

Lamont said:

It's time-consuming feeding her, and you've got to be very hygienic and patient. We're up every four hours to feed her, which is exhausting, but we're willing to do anything to get our girl to 100% recovery.

The family launched a BackaBuddy campaign to raise money for Kei's reconstructive surgery and said they were amazed at the support they received. They even surpassed the target of R60 000 and received R78 000 in donations.

According to Lamont, Dotsure, an insurance company that offers pet insurance, contacted them and offered to sponsor all of Kei's vet bills too.

"People have been absolutely amazing. It brings tears to my eyes thinking about how wonderful people have been. It's renewed my faith in humanity, especially after such a traumatic event. It's really helped with the healing and been quite therapeutic," she said.

Lamont said Kei would have the operation in two to three weeks, once specialised titanium plates and prosthesis arrive.

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