Bentley, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel belonging to Ebola patient Nina Pham of Dallas, is “bright and alert this morning. Looking good and happy to see us!” wrote Dallas Animal Services (DAS) today on its Facebook page.
Ever since he was taken by Dallas Hazmat from Pham’s apartment Monday, Bentley has been quarantined and monitored in a residence at the decommissioned Hensley Field, a naval air base owned by the city, according to CBS News. He has a comfortable bed and toys to play with.
Fortunately Bentley won’t suffer the same fate as Excalibur, the rescue dog belonging to an Ebola patient in Madrid. Despite hundreds of thousands of requests to quarantine the 12-year-old dog, Madrid health officials euthanized him last week, insisting that “available scientific knowledge indicates there’s a risk the dog could transmit the deadly virus to humans,” the Associated Press reported. (Just imagine the terror that poor old dog felt as strangers in hazmat suits entered his home, pinned him down and gave him the lethal injection.)
While it is possible for dogs to contract Ebola, there are no documented cases of them transmitting it to people. This is even less likely to occur in places (like Spain and the U.S.) where dogs aren’t usually around dead bodies and don’t eat infected animals, American Veterinary Medical Association spokeswoman Sharon Curtis Granskog told CBS News.
When it was discovered that Pham had a dog, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings told USA TODAY, “This was a twist. The dog’s very important to the patient and we want it to be safe.”
Pham and her family are very grateful that Bentley’s life was spared. “DAS Operations Manager Dr. Cate McManus just got off the phone with Nina Pham,” DAS wrote on its Facebook page yesterday. “Nina thanked Dallas Animal Services and Adoption Center for caring for Bentley and appreciated the peace of mind of knowing he was safe.”
Photo via Facebook