Dogs Trust’s national contact centre receives hundreds of calls every day from owners needing help or those looking to adopt, but as it celebrates its fifth birthday, staff are remembering some of the more unusual requests they’ve received.
The charity’s Contact Centre, based at Dogs Trust Manchester in Denton, handles calls for its 50 public phone lines, including the charity’s London head office and its 20 UK-based rehoming centres.
Contact Centre Manager, Paul Roelake, says, “In the first phase we had just ten people handling calls for three of our rehoming centres. Now we are a team of 65 responding to around 1,500 calls a day as well as e-mail enquiries.
“We also make outbound calls to dog lovers who have adopted dogs from us. We check in with them two days after the dog has gone home, then two weeks later and at four months to check everything is OK and to offer the support of Dogs Trust if needed.”
Most calls into the Contact Centre have been from people enquiring about a particular dog they would like to adopt, The second highest number of calls, over 195,000, are from dog-owners enquiring about handing their dog over to the charity, followed by volunteering requests and updates on adopted dogs.
But calls received aren’t always about man’s best friend.
Paul says, “Some of the best calls we take are definitely those letting us know how happy owners and their dogs are. It’s always fantastic to hear when our dogs have found their ideal, forever homes.
“But we get some more unusual calls too! We have had calls from someone wanting to hand over a donkey, quite a few requests for us to find new homes for cats, advice as to how we can stop a parrot pulling its feathers out and someone wanting advice on how to care for a hedgehog.
“We do our best to help whatever the enquiry and put people in touch with the correct organisations. However, one of the most memorable calls we have had was from someone wanting to hand over two Koi Carps. We did actually find them a home – in the pond at our West London Rehoming Centre!”