(By Kerry Wilkin)
was euthanized on Wednesday afternoon as a precaution to prevent the spread of the virus, despite calls from protestors to save the animal. Veterinarians at the the Laboratory for Biological Safety, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Complutense University of Madrid performed the procedure.
In a statement, lead veterinarian Javier Rodríguez explained that Excalibur was sedated during the procedure and did not suffer, El Mundo reports.
While the loss of a loved pet is sad, the risk that Ebola could be carried by household pets isn't zero. A 2005 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests there is a risk that dogs could become infected with Ebola and transmit the virus to humans. "Human infection could occur through licking, biting, or grooming," the report states.
And there was cause for concern: Sick with a fever from the virus, Teresa Romero had spent a week at home with Excalibur before checking into a hospital. Her husband, Javier Limón, was placed in isolation, although he has shown no symptoms of Ebola.
"It seems unfair," Romero wrote. "If you are really worried about this problem, I think you can find another type of alternative solution, such as putting the dog in quarantine and observation, as it has me. Or maybe you will have to sacrifice me, just in case. But of course, with a dog, it's easier, it doesn't matter as much."
The dog's death is sad news for Romero and Limón, as well as the more than 300,000 people who signed an online petition to save him. Protestors also started a trend on Twitter using the hashtag #SalvarAExcalibur, Spanish for 'save Excalibur.'
According to the World Health Organization, more than 3,400 people have died and more than 7,400 been infected since the Ebola outbreak began in March.