DataArt to Develop an App for Harvey’s Army, UK’s Top Charity, Announces Emma Bunton of Spice Girls

After Emma Bunton announces DataArt’s gift on ITV’s ‘Surprise Surprise’, technology consulting firm to work with charity Harvey’s Army to develop app aimed at saving thousands of dogs’ lives

LONDON, 6 JULY 2015 — In the wake of Sunday’s emotional episode of ITV’s Surprise Surprise - home-grown charity Harvey’s Army and global technology consulting firm DataArt have put into motion a plan to create a cutting-edge app to bring comfort to the nation’s 9 million dog owners. 

In a moving scene on last night’s “Surprise Surprise”  former Spice Girl Emma Bunton, who has suffered the heartache of losing her dog, delighted the founders of ground-breaking charity Harvey’s Army, Karen and Nina Blackburn, with DataArt’s gift – the pledge to work with the charity to produce bespoke technology to turn Harvey’s Army into a major player in the field of reuniting owners with lost dogs. 

“This was an amazing pledge,’ said Nina Blackburn, “To be honest we are completely overwhelmed by this.  We will start work with DataArt this week to build a new system that will save heartache for thousands of dog owners and the lives of many dogs because around 7,000 lost canines are destroyed every year because their owners cannot be found.”

Nina Blackburn’s achievements include raising a petition of 100,000, which led to a change in English Law, meaning that dogs killed on highways must be scanned and owners notified (which was not the case before). “Harvey’s Mandate” was passed by Parliament in March this year.

Millions tuned in to watch the programme in which Holly Willoughby and Emma Bunton informed Karen and Nina that DataArt would be providing the technology needed to take Harvey’s Army efforts to the next level.

“When we received a top secret phone call from ITV asking us to help this brilliant charity, we couldn’t say no,” said Roman Chernyshev, VP of Healthcare and Life Sciences, DataArt UK, who will be leading the project.

“It is such a pleasure to gift this to the great people at Harvey’s Army, so that they can access expertise usually reserved for larger organisations, and to help a great cause.”

Viewers were moved by the story of Nina and Karen, who have worked tirelessly to make their brainchild – a charity that allows members of the public to identify and report lost dogs – into a reality. Using only Facebook, and without any modern technology tools, they painstakingly track down dogs who have been lost.

DataArt has pledged to develop a bespoke app and interactive website which will enable Harvey’s Army, with the help of a vigilant public, to track potentially thousands of lost dogs over the coming year and reunite them with their worried owners.

“Normally we work on large, global sophisticated technology solutions for multi-national corporations. But we also believe in giving back to the community at large and this was a perfect project for us,” added DataArt’s Chernyshev. “The people at Harvey’s Army have already pulled off a small miracle with very few resources, while running the charity in their spare time, and we were keen to show them what technology could do to take them to the next level.” said Chernyshev.

“We have already produced a mock-up of how the app will work, as shown on the programme last night. It will enable people to paste up pictures in real time of dogs lost and to easily locate the nearest chip scanner device.”

“This app will be a tech-savvy and immediate way of assisting owners in tracking their dogs. What better way to reward Karen and Nina’s philanthropic work than with such an effective tracker? It will serve to benefit both dog and owner, ensuring that Karen and Nina’s moving work continues.”

“I’m looking forward to meeting with Nina and her team to find out the exact needs and specification that will change the way that we as a nation reunite owners with lost dogs. Their unwavering dedication and passion towards Harvey’s Army inspired us to do something equally supportive. We are confident that this app will be hugely beneficial to Harvey’s Army and its cause as it will ensure efficiency and precision in the dog-tracking process.”

Harvey’s Army has a 10,500-strong team of online and on-the-ground volunteers, searchers and scanners who cover the UK. The charity was started following the search for Harvey the poodle whose owners were distraught when he went missing. Sadly, after 13 weeks, they discovered that Harvey had been knocked down and died 21 minutes after going missing. This heartbreaking story inspired Karen and Nina to set up Harvey’s Army in a quest to prevent similar situations from happening.

Press Contacts:

Nick Blanchard
Schneider Bartosch Communications
+ 44 (0) 7483 910 280
+ 44 (0) 2071 593 470
nick@schneiderbartosch.com

Vica Miller
DataArt
+1 (212) 378-4108 x 4014
+1 917 915 2054
vica@dataart.com

Notes to editors

About Harvey’s Army:

Harvey was an adorable 39-month-old phantom miniature poodle. On 23rd November 2013 Harvey remained at a friend’s house in Merseyside. At 10pm Harvey bolted through the open front door and was sadly killed in a road traffic accident just 21 minutes later. Despite this, his owners spent a further 13 weeks searching for him as a result of inadequate and unenforced procedures. The 6,000 group members that joined the search subsequently became known as 'Harvey's Army'.

Nina Blackburn set up an e petition to ensure this never happened again. With the help of over 123,000 people Harvey's Mandate is now compulsory in England.

Harvey’s Army is now a Registered Charity (No 1157650). It is entirely voluntary. It has microchip scanners and a team of volunteers who will scan alive and deceased pets outside the hours of availability for vets and animal wardens. The charity aims to reunite dog and owner within the shortest timeframe possible.

About DataArt UK:

DataArt (www.dataart.com) is a technology consulting firm that creates end-to-end solutions, from concept and strategy, to design, implementation and support, helping global clients in the financial services, healthcare, hospitality, media and IoT sectors achieve important business outcomes. Rooted in deep domain knowledge and technology expertise, DataArt designs new products, modernizes enterprise systems and provides managed services delivered by outstanding development teams in the U.S., UK, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America. As a recognized leader in business and technology services, DataArt has earned the trust of some of the world’s leading brands and most discerning clients, including McGraw-Hill Financial, Coller Capital, BankingUp, Ocado, artnet, Betfair, Skyscanner, Collette Vacations, Booker and Charles River Laboratories.

@DataArtUK