Three Lifesaving Operations Later... Kei is Back Home And On The Mend!
Kei at home | Photo Cred: Supplied

Kei, the wonder dog that was shot in the face while trying to protect her owners during a home invasion, has come through all her operations with flying colours.


Johannesburg, South Africa (02 December 2021) – Kei the Malinois cross showed she is much more than just man’s best friend when she took on a violent armed robber despite being shot in the face, saving her owners’ lives in an extraordinary act of bravery.

Kei was immediately rushed to the vet for emergency treatment, where she was stabilised and referred to Professor Gerhard Steenkamp at the Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital for reconstructive surgery on her jaw and partnered with the University of Pretoria’s veterinary team at the Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital to help save her life.

“When we first met Kei, she had a large defect in her tongue and left lower jaw where the bullet passed through. The jaw’s defect was approximately 2cm, and the big molar tooth was destroyed. Due to this, the jaw was not stable, and Kei’s jaw deviated to the left.”

Over a period of months, Kei went under anaesthesia for three life-saving operations.

“The first surgery closed the tongue and removed the bony fragments from the remaining jaw. Due to the movement in her unsupported jaw, a small area dehisced, and Professor Steenkamp had to re-operate in order to close this defect. After an agonising 7 weeks wait, the CT scan of Kei’s head was transformed into pictures that the developers could use to create a plate for Kei.

“We commissioned the manufacturing (3D printing) of the plate in titanium from the Central University of Technology in Bloemfontein and operated on Kei once the plate was fitted,” says Professor Steenkamp.

A relieved Sarah Lamont, Kei’s owner, says the loyal family pet is now recovering well at home.

“Kei is in high spirits and on the mend. Our family is so grateful that generously stepped in to assist us financially. Words cannot express how unbelievably healing this has been for our family, and we are finally able to move forward and overcome this terrible ordeal. We cannot thank the team enough for all they have done for our family,” she says. is proud to have invested in the groundbreaking operation to give Kei a second lease on life.

“This surgery is a second of its kind in South Africa and will make a significant contribution to South African veterinary medicine and the industry as a whole. The first surgery– also sponsored by – was to save ​​another dog, Harold. He is a rescue dog who had suffered years of abuse and neglect by his initial owner. He had a broken jaw that had drastically deteriorated and left him unable to eat.

“University of Pretoria specialist prosthodontist Professor Cules van den Heever, together with a team from the Central University of Technology, Free State, developed and 3D-printed a custom titanium plate for Harold, and he, too, is now on the path to recovery,” says Chief Operating Officer David Roache.

“We’re thrilled to have been part of rolling out innovation at this level and remain committed to paving the way for animals in need like Kei.

“ is proud to have supported Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital to perform another innovative surgery. We’re committed to ensuring the well-being of animals in need and urge all South Africans to take good care of their pets,” adds Roache.

Three Lifesaving Operations Later... Kei is Back Home And On The Mend!
Kei and the Vet | Photo Cred: Supplied

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Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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