I have a dog, my beloved collie, Kerry. I love her. We think of her as a member of our family. But I get a bit nervous about the moral state of the world in confronting Ebola when more people express concern about the fate of a dog then they do the fate of tens of thousands of sick human beings and millions more who might become sick.
Excalibur, the dog, belonged to a Spanish nursing assistant infected with Ebola. He was euthanized Wednesday by Spanish authorities despite a global social media campaign to prevent the dog’s death. The dog was killed to prevent the spread of the virus.
I am not sure Excalibur died in vain. In an Ebola epidemic where a lot is not known, pets have to be handled with extreme care, as they may transmit disease. They need feeding, toileting, cleaning and exercise, making quarantine a challenge.
I would argue that a person might choose to stay with a pet, care for it and, in some circumstances safely do so. But in other circumstances, say in an apartment building, a dog, cat, rabbit, or other beloved pet cannot easily be isolated or quarantined and may have to be sacrificed to protect the health of humans and other animals.
Many animal lovers find the fate of the dog in Spain horrific. I find it tragic. But some who rallied to Excalibur seem to care more for animals than humans. That is morally wrong since it inappropriately devalues those innocent men, women and children dying far away in nations few know anything about.