The bell rings for Bella as Dogs Trust takes its two millionth call

Dogs Trust’s national Contact Centre is celebrating answering its two-millionth call from members of the dog loving public.

Dogs Trust is the UK’s largest dog welfare charity and the Contact Centre handles calls for its 50 public phone lines, including the charity’s London head office and its 20 UK-based rehoming centres, which care for around 14,300 rescue dogs every year.

The landmark call was taken at 9.58am on Monday 7 September from a dog-lover hoping to give a forever home to 13-year-old Jack Russell, Bella, at Dogs Trust Manchester.

The team handle 1,500 calls every day and manage approximately 45,000 interactions into the Contact Centre each month.

Contact Centre Manager, Paul Roelake, says:

"The two millionth call is a huge milestone for us and I am delighted to say that beautiful Bella has now been reserved and will be heading off to her forever home very soon.

"We opened back in September 2014 and now have a team of 65 handling over a thousand calls every day. Most calls we receive are about rehoming a dog, which is wonderful, and more than once during lockdown we have received over 1,000 calls from people wanting to rehome a single dog, which is just unprecedented.

"Sadly we also receive many calls from people wanting to handover their dogs as they can no longer take care of them. In these extraordinary times we know that circumstances can change in a heartbeat. Experience tells us that in the coming months, and years, more dogs than ever will face the risk of relinquishment so we expect calls to keep rising, and we’ll be here to help however we can to change the tale for dogs in need."

As well as answering calls, the team now also manage six key public facing e-mail accounts, provide a Post-Adoption Outbound call service supporting people who have adopted from Dogs Trust, and manage social media direct messages.

Paul says:

"Obviously the team has faced lots of challenges in recent months, not least as we are all working from home rather than at Dogs Trust Manchester which is our usual base, but we have continued to provide the service that the dog lovers of the UK deserve.

"If we were at Dogs Trust Manchester I know we would all be waving a fond farewell to Bella as she heads off to enjoy life with her new family."

Dogs Trust estimates that up to 40,000 more dogs could be at risk of abandonment in the fallout of the coronavirus crisis. Help change the course of events and continue to be there for more dogs and their owners when they need us most. Please give what you can by visiting www.dogstrust.org.uk/changethetale