NAKHON RATCHASIMA • A disabled dog in a village in north-eastern Thailand has been hailed as a hero for rescuing a newborn who was buried in a field where he was left to die.
Ping Pong the black mutt, which bounds on only three working legs, found the baby on Wednesday in a cassava plantation in Ban Nong Kham village in the Thai province of Nakhon Ratchasima and started digging.
"I heard a dog barking and a baby crying in a cassava plantation, so I went there to check. The dog was digging up a dirt pile and the baby's legs emerged," Ping Pong's owner Usa Nisaikha, a 41-year-old farmer, was quoted as saying by Bangkok Post. The baby boy weighing 2.4kg was taken to a hospital where he was declared to be healthy.
The mother of the infant, a 15-year-old teenager, was arrested after she was seen buying an unusually large number of sanitary napkins at a shop for postpartum bleeding. She has been charged with child abandonment and attempted murder.
The girl confessed that she buried the infant after delivering him by herself as she feared the reaction of her parents, who did not know she was pregnant.
Police said the baby survived because he was not buried too deep. The teenager's parents have offered to take care of the baby.
Meanwhile, Ping Pong's quick action and rescue instinct have been extolled in local news as well as on social media.
A dog is the "best friend" of human beings, a Facebook user commented on the page of media outlet Khaosod English.
Mr Usa, who has had Ping Pong since it was a puppy, had nothing but praise for the six-year-old dog whose right hind leg was broken.
"Ping Pong was hit by a car, so he's disabled. But I kept him because he's so loyal and obedient, and always helps me out when I go into the fields to tend to my cattle," Mr Usa was quoted as saying in Khaosod English.
"He's loved by the entire village. It's amazing he found the baby."