A Norwegian Woman Caught Rabies From The Puppy She Rescued In The Philippines

Birgitte Kallestad, a 24-year-old Norwegian woman, visited the Philippines on holiday last February. While enjoying a scooter ride with her friends, she picked up a puppy she saw on the side of the road and brought him back to their resort. Unfortunately, while the group was innocently playing with the puppy it nipped at Birgitte’s fingers. 

stray dogs

Although just a small bite, it eventually led to her contracting rabies. Once she returned to Norway she began to feel dangerously sick and was put into intensive care at Forde hospital where she worked. She passed away and it was determined to be from the puppy in the Philippines as rabies has not been present in Norway since 1826. 

(LOOK: This stray dog looks out for his pack because no one else will)

Her family released the statement:  

Birgitte put the puppy in a basket and brought him home. She cleaned it and cared for it and to her joy it started healing. They played with the puppy in the garden of the resort where they were staying”, the family said in a statement published Thursday evening.

After a while the puppy started trying to bite them like puppies do. It nipped their fingers when they were playing

Our dear Birgitte loved animals. Our fear is that this will happen to others who have a warm heart like hers.

(The Couple Behind this ‘Island Sanctuary’ in Cebu has Rescued 106 Dogs)

Her family hopes that this story serves as a reminder to everyone to be careful around stray animals, no matter your good intentions. This is why it’s important to make sure your rescues receive complete shots and are properly seen to by a vet. 

How do you think we can improve the situation of stray animals in the Philippines?