ALL credit to Dogs Trust, the canine welfare charity that has a rehoming centre at Harefield, for keeping alive a newspaper tradition of publishing a jolly April 1 jape. If this cleverly-crafted spoof draws attention to its continuing good work, then good luck to it. We publish below the release received by news desks this morning. Reader alert: it’s not serious!


THE Dogs Trust team has identified a number of dogs with a talent for communication and, from Monday, these skilled pooches will be answering calls in the charity’s contact centre.

With record numbers of calls and emails being received by Dogs Trust, it is hoped these talented pooches can add to the support already provided by the dedicated team of human call handlers.

The canine contact centre has been kitted out with the latest dog-friendly office equipment and wellbeing initiatives to ensure their new employees settle in, including: 

Snout-touch operated phones 

Adjustable doggy desks 

Regular lunch-time walkies  

Tennis ball breaks 

“Em-paw-ee” of the month initiatives  

Doggy beds and mandatory afternoon nap time 

Al Sation, new Canine Contact Centre Manager, said: “Dogs Trust is busier than ever, and we are doing all we can to support owners struggling with the cost of living.

“Some people say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks but this simply isn’t true. Dogs love to learn new skills, regardless of their age and, as we’ve shown, in some cases they can learn to do things you wouldn’t expect from a dog, including answering the ‘dog and bone’.

“We’re sure this new way of working won’t be without challenges. One ‘em-paw-ee’ has already requested tennis ball breaks, and we’ve had to make sure there are plenty of treats on offer.

“But all our dogs are paw-some and have so much to offer, whether here at Dogs Trust or with their new families when they go on to find their forever homes.” (that link is correct!)