Excalibur, the dog of Teresa Romero Ramos, a Spanish nurse who tested positive for Ebola in Madrid, has been put down amid suspicions he may have contracted the virus too.
The Veterinary Hospital at Madrid's Complutense University confirmed the dog was killed on Wednesday [8 October], Spanish newspaper El Mundo reported.
The dog was taken by authorities after a court order allowed them to enter Ramos's premises to take the pet.
Javier Limón Romero, the nurse's husband, said he received a phone call from an organisation called the Patient Care of the Community Madrid, who asked for permission to put down the dog.
Limón Romero denied the request and dismissed the authorities' worries that Excalibur may be carrying the Ebola virus.
His plea to save the dog prompted netizens to create the Twitter hashtag #SalvemosAExcalibur, or Let's Save Excalibur, to urge the authorities to spare the dog's life.
Nearly 340,000 people have also signed an online petition.
Researchers have said dogs can transmit the deadly virus to humans, while previous research has shown the animals do not get sick from Ebola and that the virus can be cleared from the animal.
Romero Ramos, who is in quarantine with her husband, worked as a nurse in Madrid's Carlos III hospital and assisted two missionaries who died from Ebola after returning from Sierra Leone in West Africa.
Reports emerged on Tuesday 7 October that two other people suspected of being infected were admitted to hospital in Spain.
The Ebola outbreak, the worst in history, has killed more than 3,400 people in west Africa since January.