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It’s all about the dogs… well, almost!

Dogs Trust contact centre answers 100,000 calls in its first six months, including enquiries about parrots, donkeys, lizards and cats!

Dogs Trust’s national contact centre has taken 100,000 calls in its first six months with more than 20% of calls being from dog-lovers looking to give homeless hounds their ‘furry-tail’ ending.

The contact centre, based at Dogs Trust Manchester, opened on 29 September last year and now handles calls for the charity’s 20 UK-based rehoming centres.

Approximately 1,000 calls are received by the 31-strong team every day, with over 21,600 calls taken so far being from hopeful potential owners looking to give a dog a new home. Unfortunately the second highest number of calls, more than 18,000, has been from dog-owners enquiring about handing their dog over to the charity.

But the calls received have proved to not always be about man’s best friend.

More unusual enquiries have included someone looking for advice about how to stop their parrot pulling its feathers out, someone wanting to hand over a donkey, another animal-lover wanting help to rehome a lizard and several requests to rehome cats!

Contact Centre Manager, Neil Carrick, says: “Every now and then we do get an odd call but most are from people hoping to rehome a dog from us that they’ve heard about in the news or seen on our website, or sadly dog owners needing to discuss handing their dog over to us.

“Many of the team have worked in contact centres before, including me, but we all agree that this is very different. The level of emotional involvement is massive and I have the utmost respect for the team being able to deal with the calls day in, day out. There have been times when tears have flowed but this shows just how much every member of the team cares about what they do and for the welfare of the dogs they are discussing, which is an absolutely vital trait for them to have when working for Dogs Trust.”

Dogs Trust, whose mission is to bring about the day when all dogs can enjoy a happy life free from the threat of unnecessary destruction, cares for around 17,000 dogs each year at its rehoming centres located across the UK from Ballymena to Basildon, Shoreham to Shrewsbury and West Calder to Canterbury.

Neil comments:

“One of the benefits of the job is that we speak to people from all over the country, all with different stories to tell and many often eager to talk to us about their experiences of being a dog owner, both happy and sad.

“But the best calls are when someone picks up the phone to tell us that they have given one of our dogs their forever home and also when people call to give us updates about dogs they have rehomed and who have settled into family life. As dog lovers, what more could you ask for in a working day?”

If you would like to rehome a dog from Dogs Trust, please visit www.dogstrust.org.uk

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