The recordings have been shared via a radio and video advert as part of the charity’s ongoing ‘Change the Tale’ campaign. The advert highlights the “anguish felt by owners whose lives have been turned upside down by the pandemic”.
Based on trends seen during the last recession, the charity said it is braced “for an increased reliance on its services”.
Figures released by the group show that – between August 2020 and January 2021 – Dogs Trust saw a 41% increase in web traffic to its ‘Giving Up Your Dog’ page compared to the six-month period beforehand.
The ‘Change the Tale’ ad campaign features snippets of “real phone calls made to Dogs Trust’s helpline from members of the public needing to give up their dog”.
The calls aim to demonstrate “how the fallout from the pandemic is starting to place a strain on owners, as they struggle to continue to care for their dog”.
Owen Sharp, chief executive of Dogs Trust, said: “We know that the pandemic and its economic repercussions will have devastating effects on some people’s lives and their ability to care for their pets.
“It is heart-breaking to hear someone having to choose between a roof over their head, or their dog and we’d like to thank the people who made these calls for allowing us to share their story and for coming to us in their time of need.”
He added: “Unfortunately, we believe the worst is yet to come and we expect many more calls like this as the pandemic fallout continues – and we will do all we can to help those in need of our support.”