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Bentley, The Ebola Nurse's Dog, Is Safe With Dallas Animal Services

What will happen to the dog of Nina Pham, the Dallas nurse who contracted the Ebola virus?

Credit Facebook
Nina Pham, 26, is the Dallas nurse who contracted the Ebola virus while treating Thomas Eric Duncan, an Ebola patient.

While Pham remains in stable condition in an isolation ward at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, city workers have been figuring out what to do with Bentley.

Bentley was removed late Monday afternoon from Pham’s East Dallas apartment. Dallas Animal Services is taking care of the dog.

Around 7 p.m. Monday, Bentley was wagging his tail and eating dinner.

"He's adorable," city spokeswoman Sana Syed wrote on Twitter. "Clearly a little puzzled by what's going on. But he's in good hands now and will be taken care of." 

Animal Services noted on its Facebook page: “It was a bit of a challenge, but Bentley, the beloved dog of Ebola patient Nina Pham is now safe with Dallas Animal Services and Adoption Center on the way to an undisclosed location.”

The dog was mentioned during Monday morning's press conference at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We want to make sure we … find a location where we can care for the dog and have proper monitoring for the dog,” said Dr. David Lakey, the Texas health commissioner.

Pham, a 26-year-old Presbyterian nurse who treated Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, reported a low-grade fever Friday evening and immediately went to Presbyterian. On Sunday, the CDC confirmed she had Ebola. The dog was left behind in the apartment.

On Sunday, city officials reported the dog was scared, but was being given food and water.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings told USA Today that there were no plans to euthanize the dog.

"The dog's very important to the patient and we want it to be safe," Rawlings said.

Bloomberg reportsthat dogs are able to carry the virus -- and that researchers say canine infection "must be considered as a potential risk factor for human infection and virus spread."

"We just felt the dog is very important to this hero of a health-care giver and we’re going to do anything we can to help,” Rawlings told Bloomberg.“I believe the pet hasn’t caught anything.”

There was an uproar in Spain after Madrid authorities euthanized a dog named Excalibur that belonged to a nursing assistant sickened by Ebola. She remains hospitalized. Authorities were concerned the dog might be harboring the virus. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.