Pooch Problems at Advanced Rehab & Healthcare?

Published: Nov. 21, 2015 at 12:41 AM CST
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Fred Hyer has a brother-in-law, Steven, who is a resident at Advanced Rehab and Healthcare in Wichita Falls. Steven has a dog, named Archie.

Several years ago, while Steven was living at River Oaks Care Center, a therapist employed by that facility gave Archie to Steven.

Steven was so excited to have someone to help him with his transition from house to nursing home.

However, it's the transition from River Oaks to Advanced Rehab and Healthcare that's affecting Archie.

Lately the dog, who helps Steven cope with emotional issues, has been having "accidents" at night, which, the healthcare facility said, means Archie has to go.

Current administration at Advanced Rehab and Healthcare said because Archie's adoption occurred before their time in charge, they're not responsible for the dog.

Even though Archie provides comfort and therapy for the resident, he's not officially a "therapy dog," so he's not allowed to stay.

"Imagine what that would do to a normal person, said Steven's brother-in-law Fred Hyer, "but when you have emotional issues on top of that, it's just cruel.

"{Steven} has been in a panic, asking, "what are we going to do with Archie?"

We spoke with the Administrator of Advanced Rehab & Healthcare in Wichita Falls Norman Mason, but he declined to go on camera. He said Archie's frequent accidents present a health issue for the facility.

Official policy states that individual pets are not allowed to reside within the facility, but when asked, Mason surprisingly said Archie is the only pet that will be evicted, with other dogs allowed to stay at Advanced Rehab and Healthcare.

Hyer says the healthcare facility brought the two together, and now they're heartlessly ripping them apart.

"If they were concerned about the welfare of my brother in law," Hyer said, "they would let him keep the dog. So apparently, the building is more important than the residents inside it."

The good news is Archie will have a home. Archie is set to come live with Hyer over the Thanksgiving break.

This also means Steven will be left alone, without a dog, for the first time in nearly five years.

Dave Caulfield, Newschannel 6