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Dogs Trust selects Echo for national microchip helpline

From the Knowledge Centre

Dogs Trust – the largest dog welfare charity in the UK – is working with specialist outsourcing firm Echo Managed Services on a major drive for all dogs in England and Wales to be microchipped by 2015/16...

Dogs Trust – the largest dog welfare charity in the UK – is working with specialist outsourcing firm Echo Managed Services on a major drive for all dogs in England and Wales to be microchipped by 2015/16. As part of its partnership Echo has established a dedicated microchip advice telephone line for dog owners to get in contact, and for Echo’s agents to connect dog owners with participating vets to get their pets ‘chipped’ for free. The campaign has already resulted in some 20,000 dogs being ‘chipped’ and their owners registered on a nationwide database.

Dogs Trust’s outreach campaign is gathering momentum to help meet the Government’s 2016 (for England) and 2015 (Wales) deadlines for all dogs in England and Wales to be ‘chipped’. Dogs Trust initially asked Echo for advice on setting up and managing its microchipping helpline, and Echo consultants have designed a flexible bureau staffing approach to ensure customer demand is met as cost-effectively as possible with call volumes predicted to rise as the legislative deadlines approach. Pet owners calling the dedicated helpline are provided with details of their nearest participating vet which Echo agents identify using their post code.

Lauren Stewart was reunited with her dog Chloe via the Dogs Trust microchipping scheme. “Chloe my beloved black lab mix escaped through a small hole in the garden fence. A young family found her and wanted to keep her, but doing the right thing they first took her to the local vets who found the microchip. They kindly returned her to us at our address. We were ecstatic to get her home. Without microchipping we would never have got our beloved Chloe back – it is such as important thing as so many dogs go missing.”

Commenting on the campaign with Echo, Elvira Meucci-Lyons, Head of Campaigns and Communities at Dogs Trust said: “Each year more than 100,000 dogs are lost or abandoned at a cost of £57 million to the taxpayer and welfare charities, so Dogs Trust is keen to support microchipping legislation as this should improve both animal welfare and owner responsibility.

“Echo’s advice and experience has been invaluable in setting up our helpline quickly and cost-efficiently, as cost is obviously a key concern the charity. In particular Echo advised us to provide dog owners with a cheaper 0330 number to help maximise responses to our campaign marketing activity,” she continued. “Echo’s expertise has been particularly helpful in forecasting demand levels, and being flexible to our requirements as the service evolves. For example on Echo’s recommendation we have already introduced Saturday morning opening hours, that are proving to be popular with pet owners.”

Nigel Baker, Managing Director at Echo Managed Services, added: “as knowledge of the free chipping service increases and legislative deadlines approach we expect calls to rise dramatically. Echo’s ability to increase agent numbers through a tested elearning training programme will help Dogs Trust to meet higher customer demand volume quickly - and hopefully maximise the amount of dogs chipped.”

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