Ebola Patient's Dog Receiving Care at Dallas Home

Dallas Animal Services is caring for Ebola patient Nina Pham's dog, Bentley, who is reported to be healthy and still not showing any symptoms of the virus while in isolation.

The City of Dallas tweeted new pictures Friday of Bentley enjoying time with the vet this week and playing with a new toy.

On Thursday, Dallas city spokeswoman Sana Syed reported via Twitter that Bentley was "settling in, getting used to new routines."  She said Bentley played with a new toy and "snuggled" with a vet.

In the photos the vet is covered in personal protective gear. Earlier this week the city said he was  warming up to hazmat suits around him.

"With medical Tyvek suits, he’s doing really well. Actually got a tail wag out of that one," said DAS manager Jody Hones on Tuesday. "He's a people dog. He recognizes that we're here and trying to do well by him, so he is responding well to them."

Sunday, officials announced they will be testing Bentley's specimen for Ebola in the coming days, as his 21-day quarantine period winds down.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said city officials vowed to do everything in their power to care for Pham's beloved pet.

"As our brave health care worker [Pham] told us, this dog is a significant part of her life, and we vowed to her family we would do everything in our power to care for her beloved pet," said Rawlings. "I am thankful to the team who has made sure to take every precaution to protect the public health while transporting, monitoring and caring for this dog at a new, safe location. We will continue to help monitor and care for this pet while following all guidance and protocols of the CDC."

The City of Dallas released video Tuesday of the healthy-looking 1-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, which is being monitored at a home on the decommissioned Hensley Field naval base, which is owned by the city.

City officials said Bentley's temporary home has comfortable bedding, toys and other items to keep him entertained during his stay. Bentley is being visited by a small team twice a day.

"In interest of public safety, there are really limitations there, so the dog is being provided food, water, enrichment, toys," said Jones.

While he is only dealing with a small amount of people, the attention Bentley has received online is massive. On Twitter, there is even a collection of posts using the hashtag "#SaveBentley."

There was an uproar in Spain after Madrid authorities euthanized a dog belonging to a nursing assistant sickened by Ebola. Authorities there were concerned the dog might be harboring the virus.

"We have people emailing us from Spain, showing an outpouring of support, people asking us from everywhere what they can do to help," said Syed.

Dallas Animal Services said anyone interested in donating to Bentley's care should write a check and send it to 1818 N. Westmoreland Road, Dallas, TX 75212, to the attention of Dr. Cate McMannus, and tag it "Bentley" on the memo line.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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