SCAS Launches the Inaugural Bob Harvey Award to Honor Human-Animal Bond in Care Facilities

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If Bob won’t part from his beloved dog Darcie, he faces eviction from his nursing home SCAS launch the inaugural Bob Harvey Award

Two charities, the Society for Companion Animal Studies (SCAS) and Fostering Compassion have launched a very special new award; The Bob Harvey Award, in memory of Bob and his beloved dog Darcie. The award will be presented to a care home, hospice, hospital or care facility that has gone above and beyond the call of duty to keep human and animal together and protected that all important bond.

The story of Bob and his little dog Darcie must be one of the saddest. When Bob’s wife Margaret developed dementia, they were promised they could stay together in a care home with their dog for the rest of their days. Not long after enduring the difficult transition of moving from their marital home to the care home, Bob’s wife Margaret passed away. Bob was utterly heartbroken with only his beloved dog Darcie, his faithful companion and final connection to the love of his life, by his side.

Following a change in management, Bob was given the devastating news that Darcie was no longer allowed to stay in the home with him and that if he didn’t ‘get rid’ of him, they faced eviction. He could not bear to be parted from his faithful companion so, at the age of 87, he endured yet another traumatic upheaval as he and his little dog moved out of the care home and into a modest bungalow in the North of England. Read Bob’s full story here.

What Bob endured should never have happened. However, he was fortunate in having friends to support him through this ordeal, who campaigned to prevent his bond with Darcie being ruptured. Members of SCAS and Fostering Compassion were amongst those who rallied to his support and with Bob’s blessing raised awareness of the issue at national and international meetings, in the Scottish Parliament, at rallies, and through the media. This is a very serious issue. A survey by Anchor Housing Trust found that annually some 140,000 pets owned by older people are surrendered when they move to supported living.

Very sadly Bob died in October 2020, and little Darcie died just 10 weeks later. In memory of Bob, SCAS and Fostering Compassion have launched this very special new award. The award will be presented to a care home, hospice, hospital or care facility that has done above and beyond the call of duty to keep human and animal together and protect that all important bond.

Nominations are welcomed from anyone who is aware of any facility worthy of consideration. The winner will be chosen by a panel of experts and will be announced at the annual SCAS conference on the 17th September, 2023.

SCAS is the UK’s leading human-companion animal bond organisation through its research funding, providing education, raising awareness, encouraging best practice, and influencing the development of policies and practices that support the human-companion animal bond. For more details check out our website at Follow us on FB and Twitter (@SCASuk).

Fostering Compassion is a groundbreaking humane education project, unique in its approach to addressing the links between animal abuse, child abuse, elder abuse and interpersonal violence. By sharing the stories of rescued animals, we encourage caring, compassionate and nurturing behaviour in children. For more details check out our website at Fostering Compassion

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