On Saturday, November 1, Dallas nurse Nina Pham was reunited with her dog after its 21-day quarantine on suspicion for Ebola infection. Pham, who had contracted Ebola while caring for a patient and successfully recovered from the virus, met her dog Bentley again at Hensley Field, the decommissioned naval air base at which it was being quarantined.
Pham was apparently overjoyed to see Bentley, whom she called “one of my best friends,” and said she was “excited to take Bentley home so we can start picking out his gifts for his two-year birthday party next month” in a short statement she made on Saturday.
Pham and Bentley were separated when the Dallas nurse tested positive for Ebola on October 12, leaving the King Charles Cavalier spaniel’s fate uncertain. Pham was reportedly brought to the National Institutes for Health in Maryland, while Bentley was cared for by the Dallas Animal Services. Dogs are supposedly not known to be carriers of the Ebola virus, but because it was uncertain whether they could transmit it from someone affected by it, Bentley was placed under a quarantine of 21 days and given twice-daily check-ups by veterinarians in hazmat suits.
— World News Tonight (@WNTonight) October 31, 2014
While Pham was cleared of the virus and released on October 24, Bentley was still under quarantine until November 1. The dog underwent tests for Ebola, the last of which happened on Thursday, October 30. Bentley tested negative for Ebola at all times, which meant he could go home at the end of his quarantine.
“He’s such a joy, you can’t help but love this little guy. I can’t wait to see him on talk shows when he’s all healthy and out of here,” said Dr. Cate McManus, operations manager of Dallas Animal Services in an interview with CNN.
Pham said that getting Bentley back “just feels like Christmas literally,” and that being with her dog was one step closer to her “feeling whole again.”
— FOX 29 (@FOX29philly) November 2, 2014