Unfortunately, we have to bring you some sad news. Our much-loved senior, Bob Harvey, passed away at the end of October 2020. He and his beloved dog Darcie brought to light the importance of the human-animal bond and how vital it is to keep everyone, be it vulnerable children, adults or seniors such as Bob facing the end of their lives or enforced separation, together at all costs with their companion animals.
Bob was put through a horrendous ordeal when, after a change in management, the care home he and his little dog had moved into to be with his terminally ill wife, told him he would have to give up his dog or face eviction. It was a heart-breaking situation that incensed hundreds of thousands of people around the world as campaigning began to keep the pair together. Sadly, the care home wouldn’t reconsider, and as Bob could not bear the thought of being parted from his adored Darcie he and his little dog left the care home and moved to a modest bungalow in the North of England where they remained together for the rest of Bob’s days. Sadly, the ordeal took its toll on Bob’s already declining health having been a kidney dialysis patient for 21 years. After a short stay in hospital, Bob passed away peacefully on 29 October 2020.
Little Darcie was taken in by Bob’s dear friend Tracey Graham Streit who had brought Bob’s plight to the world’s attention in 2017 starting a petition that would receive nearly 300,000 signatures appealing for Bob and Darcie to be allowed to stay together. Eleven weeks after Bob passed, his little dog was diagnosed with vestibular disease and passed away on 15 January 2021. The devoted and close-knit family of three, Bob, his beloved wife Margaret and their little dog Darcie were once again reunited.
What Bob was enforced to endure can never ever be allowed to happen again. He adored his little dog so much. Darcie was Bob’s reason for living and he always said if Darcie died first, he would just stop his dialysis. The fact that this resilient and determined old man would choose to die rather than live without his dog, unquestionably shows the importance of the human-animal bond and everything should be done to protect and honour it. We have to find a better way to protect our senior citizens and ensure no one ever has to go through the trauma, suffering and heartache that Bob was subjected to.
We can’t let his pain and ordeal be forgotten about and we must work for change. So to that end, SCAS will be launching a special award in memory of Bob Harvey which will be given annually to any care home that goes above and beyond to recognise the importance of the human-animal bond and introduce successful positive pet policies. We will bring you more information on this award in the future.