The Madrid regional government says it has euthanized the pet dog of a Spanish nursing assistant infected with Ebola.

Police on Wednesday took the dog, called Excalibur, from the Madrid apartment where Teresa Romero and her husband live. The regional government said the animal was sedated before being euthanized and was then incinerated.

Authorities had obtained a court order to kill the mixed-breed dog, saying they could not rule out the possibility Excalibur could spread the deadly virus.

Animal rights groups launched an online campaign to save Excalibur, and the fight went viral in social media.

Protesters tried to stop the dog being taken away in a van, but police with batons cleared a path.