“We’re so desperate” – Dogs Trust releases heartbreaking audio of calls to helpline


“We’re so desperate.”

The tearful voice is one of several in a new advert released by Dogs Trust, featuring audio recordings from owners making the heartbreaking decision to rehome their dogs – highlighting the terrible impact the ongoing pandemic has had on pet owners. 

“They’re evicting us,” a voice says.

“I don’t want her left alone all day.”

“Me and my partner both lost our work through work through Covid.”

“I just can’t afford to keep her.”


Job loss, eviction, financial struggles, increased working hours were among the many reasons desperate people cited for giving up their pets in Covid-stricken Britain. It was the case with five-month-old German Shepherd puppy Loki, who was handed to Dogs Trust Darlington in late December 2020 as his owner struggled financially due to the pandemic. Loki has since been rehomed.

While the vaccination campaign is giving the public hope of a return to normalcy, Dogs Trust fear the damage caused by the pandemic will be long-lasting – and that the worst is yet to come.

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.”


He added, “When people take on the responsibilities of dog ownership, they do so with the best intentions to care for them long-term. But as the calls to Dogs Trust show, in these extraordinary times circumstances can change in a heartbeat, leaving owners with incredibly tough decisions to make.  

“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.

“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.”  

The audio advert was released as part of Dogs Trust’s Change the Tale’ campaign, which encourages struggling dog owners to reach out for help from Dogs Trust – so that they can change the tale and, if possible, help keep pets and owners together in these unprecedented times.

Images and video by Dogs Trust


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