Spanish Officials Threaten to Euthanize Dog of Ebola Patient

Update 2:45 p.m. EST: Madrid Health officials issued an order on Wednesday evening for the dog to be euthanized.

The husband of a Spanish nurse who was diagnosed with Ebola is in a battle to save the couple’s dog — after reportedly receiving a request from Madrid health officials that the dog be euthanized.

Javier Limon Romero, whose wife, Teresa Romeo, recently tested positive for Ebola, posted a plea for the dog’s life to the Facebook page of Villa Pepa Protective Association, a Spanish animal protection organization. In the post, he describes a request from health officials that he allow for his dog to be euthanized while the dog is in quarantine.

According to Limon Romero’s own account, his dog has been left in his apartment while his wife is being treated for the Ebola virus, which she contracted while working as a nurse in a Madrid hospital.

Here’s a translation of the post:

Hello, my name is Javier Limon Romero, I’m the husband of Teresa Romero Ramos, the nurse infected with Ebola for treating voluntarily two infected patients who were sent back to Spain.

I want to publicly denounce a man named Zarco, whom I believe is the chief health officer of the Community of Madrid, told me that they have to sacrifice my dog just like that, with no explanation. He asked for my consent, which I denied strongly. He said that they will ask for a court order to enter in my house and sacrifice the dog.

Before going to the hospital, I left the dog a few buckets of water, and the bathtub also with water, as well as a bag of food of 15kg so that he’d have food and water. I also left the door to the balcony open so that he can take care of his needs.

I think it’s unfair that for a mistake they made they now want to solve it this way.

A dog should not be contagious to a person and vice versa. If they are so worried with this issue I think we can find another type of alternative solutions, such as quarantining the dog and put him under observation like they did with me. Or should they sacrifice me as well just in case?

But of course, with a dog it’s easier, it doesn’t matter as much.

Dog of Spanish Ebola patient

This photo, posted to the Facebook page of the Asociacion Protectora Villa Pepa shows Javier Limon Romero’s dog.


In an interview with Spanish newspaper El Mundo, Limon Romero said that health officials told him “that if I do not give my consent, they will seek a court order and go into the house by force to kill the dog.” Limon Romero is currently under quarantine.

A petition asking that the dog be spared had received tens of thousands of signatures by Wednesday afternoon.

Three other people have been placed under quarantine after the nurse tested positive for the deadly virus. She is believed to be the first person to have contracted the Ebola virus while outside of Africa.

More than 50 others are being monitored as experts attempt to figure out why Spain’s anti-infection practices failed. Health authorities are investigating how the nursing assistant, part of a special team that cared for a Spanish priest who died of Ebola last month, became infected.

Additional reporting by Lorenzo Francesch-Bicchierai and the Associated Press

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