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UPDATE: Ebola nurse’s dog euthanized in Spain

Watch the video above: Husband of Spanish patient diagnosed with Ebola appeals to save dog scheduled to be euthanized due to exposure.

Excalibur is gone.

Despite strong protests by animal rights’ activists and an appeal by the dog’s owner, Excalibur — a dog that came into contact with an infected Ebola patient — was euthanized Wednesday evening in Madrid, Spain.

The animal rights group PACMA, which organized the protests, tweeted the news.

“We can now confirm the bad news. Excalibur has been sacrificed. Our heartfelt thanks for all the support. We will continue to work for [the animals],” it read.
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Dog of Ebola patient euthanized
Excalibur, the dog of the Spanish nurse infected with Ebola, barks from her balcony in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014. AP Photo/Andres Kudacki

Another tweet read: “This is the crematorium where they cremated the body of Excalibur. Here, there isn’t much biosafety.”

Though it isn’t completely understood whether or not dogs can be infected with the Ebola virus or, if so, pass it on to humans, officials in Madrid obtained a court order on Tuesday to put down Excalibur, the dog of Spanish nursing assistant Teresa Romero, who contracted the deadly disease from a missionary priest who died.

READ MORE: Madrid officials want to euthanize dog owned by nurse infected with Ebola

But protesters gathered in Madrid to oppose the court order, claiming that the decision is an overreaction.

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Hospital staff walk out past police guarding the entrance to protest outside the Carlos III hospital in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014 where a Spanish nurse who is believed to have contracted the Ebola virus from a 69-year-old Spanish priest is being treated after testing positive for the virus.
Hospital staff walk out past police guarding the entrance to protest outside the Carlos III hospital in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014 where a Spanish nurse who is believed to have contracted the Ebola virus from a 69-year-old Spanish priest is being treated after testing positive for the virus. AP Photo/Paul White

Dr. Peter Cowen, a veterinarian at North Carolina State University who has advised global health experts on animal infection disease risks, told The Associated Press that killing the dog is “clearly an overreaction.”

“I think it’s very unfortunate they are thinking of euthanizing that dog. They should really study it instead,” he said.

“Ebola has never been documented to be spread by a dog,” and that’s clearly not a major route of spread in the outbreak in Africa, Cowen said.

Romero’s husband urged authorities through an online petition to quarantine the dog, as they did for him. The Spanish animal rights group Amig@s X los animales (AXLA) helped deliver his appeal on Facebook.

Other Facebook pages have were also set up to spread the word about Excalibur’s plight.

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On Twitter #salvemosexcalibur (Spanish for “Let’s save Excalibur”) is the top trending topic in Spain.

–with files from The Associated Press