Target: Spanish Minister of Health Ana Mato Adrover
Goal: Denounce the government of Spain for killing the dog of an ebola patient
Despite a massive campaign to save him, a dog belonging to a Spanish nurse infected with ebola was put down amid fears that the beloved pet could have transmitted the illness to others. The dog, named Excalibur, could have been quarantined in the same manner than exposed humans are, but the government of Spain refused to consider anything but euthanasia.
Javier Limon Romero, one of Excalibur’s owners, publicly denounced the head of the Madrid health department for the decision to execute his best friend while he and nurse Teresa Romero Ramos were stuck in quarantine. The news of the plan to kill Excalibur found its way to Twitter, and thousands of people worldwide took up the call to save the dog from being euthanized with the hashtag #SalvemosaExcalibur. Despite social networking efforts and petitions asking the government to quarantine Excalibur, health officials still had him put down.
Ebola is a dangerous illness, and killing the pets of those who contract it will only make people who develop symptoms of ebola want to conceal their health issues. If the government is going to kill your dog for coming forward to be placed in quarantine, who would want to? Murdering innocent animals is not the answer to stopping the spread of this virus, and doing so could encourage civilian animal cruelty. By signing this petition, you’ll let Spain know that you condemn its actions and urge government officials to reconsider their protocol for dealing with the pets of ebola patients.
Dear Minister Adrover,
I understand that, after worldwide protest and petitioning, you had Javier and Teresa’s dog Excalibur put down because you feared that he might spread ebola to other people. This decision was made in spite of the suggestion that Excalibur simply be put into quarantine where he would not come into contact with any humans until it could be determined that he was not carrying the virus.
Ebola is a dangerous illness and must be approached with the utmost care and seriousness. However, killing innocent animals because you fear they may spread it will not improve your situation. You must understand that people love their pets, and may choose to hide their symptoms and refuse to seek treatment rather than risk having their best friends euthanized by the government. This would both cause more deaths and further spreading of the deadly illness. At the same time, if you put forth the idea that killing dogs is a good way to prevent the spread of ebola, this could encourage people to target random dogs and kill them out of fear.
Killing Excalibur was not only unnecessarily cruel for both the dog and his already suffering owners, it was a poor decision in terms of how it will affect the likelihood that other symptomatic individuals will come forward to be quarantined—something that is essential for containing the virus. I urge you to reconsider this line of action and commit to quarantining the dogs of patients in the future rather than putting them to death.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Eric via Flickr