Nominations will shortly be open for the 2024 Bob Harvey Award. This award is run jointly by SCAS and Fostering Compassion, further details regarding the award can be found below.
After his wife of over 50 years developed dementia Bob, his wife Margaret and their beloved dog Darcie moved into a pet friendly care home in the South of Scotland. They were promised a home where they could all stay together for the rest of their days.
Sadly, not long after enduring the difficult transition of moving from their marital home to the care home, Bob’s beloved Margaret passed away. Bob was utterly heartbroken with only his little dog Darcie, his faithful companion and final connection to the love of his life, by his side.
Then, following a change in management, Bob was given the devastating news that Darcie was no longer allowed to stay in the home with him. Despite a hard-fought campaign, initiated by his friend Tracey Graham Streit, which achieved some 300,000 signatures on a Change.org Petition, the care home owner refused to change his
position. Bob 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.
What Bob endured should never have happened. However, he was fortunate in having friends to support him through this ordeal and who campaigned to prevent his bond with Darcie being ruptured. SCAS members 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. Several other charities have now joined with SCAS in advocating for improved access for pet ownership across housing types. 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 dies just 10 weeks later. In memory of Bob SCAS has launched a very special new award; The Bob Harvey 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.
We welcome nominations from anyone who is aware of any facility worth of consideration and the winner will be chosen by a panel of experts.