The nurse’s husband, Javier Limón Romero—also in isolation in the Carlos III Hospital in Madrid—complained in a phone interview with El Mundo that he was being pestered by the regional health authorities for permission to enter their home whilst they were both in isolation in order to put their pet dog Excalibur down. Mr. Romero did not give authorities that permission.
Madrid’s regional government promptly issued a statement, titled “The Region, in order to avoid the possible transmission of Ebola, orders the sacrifice of the affected [nurse's] dog”, saying it had sought and received a court order to use “biosecurity and biocontention measures” against Excalibur, who will then be incinerated, contrary to the couple’s express wishes, and without knowing if the pup even has Ebola.
El País published an interview with “the world’s leading expert on dogs and Ebola outbreaks” who said: “The dog does not need to be killed, because it is important from a scientific point of view”, adding that: “Killing him serves no purpose”.
Mr. Limón’s plea was shared 18,000 times on Facebook; more than 200,000 people signed a Change.org petition to save Excalibur from death, and #SalvemosAExcalibur (Let’s Save Excalibur) became a worldwide Twitter trending topic
. A single tweet by Spanish novelist Arturo Pérez Reverte—”I propose putting the dog under observation and sacrificing the minister. Easy choice.”—was retweeted 18,000 times. Mainstream media outlets around the planet picked up on the story.[quote/]