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Dogs Trust care for big dogs left on the shelf

Agency: Mather

Client: Dog's Trust

The Dogs Trust has launched this new direct mail campaign to help Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, care for the increasing number of larger dogs that the charity looks after at their 17 Rehoming Centres.

Dogs Trust is dedicated to ensuring that stray and abandoned dogs throughout the UK are given the love and care they deserve.

The charity relies solely on donations to look after each dog whilst it finds them a suitable permanent home. It receives no Government funding. Dogs Trust needs extra help in caring for larger dogs who take longer to rehome, as potential owners can be put off by their need for more space and exercise and because they can cost slightly more to look after.

The new campaign targets warm donors from the Dogs Trust database, mainly 45-plus women who care deeply for dogs and have supported Dogs Trust in the past. The campaign launches in mid April, after the Easter holiday.

The mailer contains:

An A3 poster featuring adorable dogs, Hugo, Luca, Smithy and Daisy, with the headline “Why is it so hard for big dogs like us to find love”.

A letter from Centre Manager Diane McLelland-Taylor tells the dogs’ stories, highlighting the kinds of special help they need. For example:

Hugo, a one-year old Mastiff was thrown out on the streets to fend for himself – perhaps because his owners couldn’t afford to feed him. 

Luca, a gentle, but hungry Rottweiler, was given up by doting owners who couldn’t afford to keep him.

Smithy, a lovable, heavy hound with hip problems needs a bigger than average bed.
Daisy, a Great Dane with eye and skin ailments needs extra care and regular medication.

A suggested donation list, from £12 to help with food, £25 for larger beds and £50 for medication, tells potential donators how their contributions will make a difference.
A reply card with a pre-paid envelope addressed to Hugo and friends says “thank you for cramming so much love into this envelope”.

Adrian Burder, Marketing Director of Dogs Trust commented: “There’s a disturbing increase in the number of big dogs being brought to us across all our centres. We believe this campaign has all the elements to really touch the hearts of existing supporters.”

Phil White of Mather added: “We focussed on combining the emotional stories of the abandoned dogs with a rational argument for why Dogs Trust needs funds. The added context of recession combined with powerful imagery, really make this a powerful DM pack that we believe will elicit an enthusiastic response.”

The campaign was written by Alan Lofthouse, and art directed by Malcolm Neill.


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