Husband of Ebola patient makes internet plea to save his dog

Javier L. R. appeals for help on social networks to stop authorities putting down his pet

Teresa R. R and Javier L. R.’s dog Excálibur.

The husband of the Spanish nursing assistant infected with Ebola has launch an internet appeal through several animal protection organizations to stop authorities from destroying the couple’s dog.

The pet, named Excálibur, has been left on his own at home after owners Javier L. R. and Teresa R. R were admitted to hospital in Madrid on Monday.

Through friends, the couple managed to get a message to the AXLA (Amig@sXlosanimales) animal association, who distributed the appeal via Facebook and other animal charities.

This is the message he published on Facebook:

“Hello, my name is Javier L. R. [surname supplied]. I am the husband of Teresa R. R. [surname supplied], the nursing assistant infected with Ebola for voluntarily treating the two infected patients who were repatriated to Spain.

I want to publicly condemn that a certain Zarco, who I think is the health chief for the Madrid region, has told me that they have to put down my dog, just like that, without further ado. He has asked for my consent, which I have categorically denied. He says that they will therefore request a judicial order to break into my house and destroy him.

It seems unfair to me that because of their mistake, they want to solve this the quick way”

Before going to the hospital I left him several buckets of water, the bath tub also full of water, and a 15kg bag of feed, so he had food and water. I also left the terrace open so he could do his business.

It seems unfair to me that because of their mistake, they want to solve this the quick way.

A dog will not pass anything on to another person, and the same goes the other way around.

If this problem worries them so much, I think other alternative solutions can be found, such as, for example, putting the dog in quarantine and observation, as they have done with me. Or maybe they will have to put me down, just in case.

But, of course, a dog is easier, it doesn’t matter as much.”

The ability of dogs to spread the Ebola virus has been little studied, but a statement issued in 2005 by the IRD development research institute in Paris noted that they “may infect and excrete the virus for a determined period, thus becoming a potential source of infection for humans.”