PBSS Standards of Service

What can I expect when I call the support line?

When you contact PBSS, you will hear a short menu system and then a trained support line volunteer will answer the phone promptly, and within a maximum of five rings during the times the service is open. We aim to answer at least 86 per cent of calls during opening hours of 8.30am to 8.30pm, 365 days a year.

If the phone lines are busy when you call, or if we are closed, you will hear a message about the times we are open and encouraging you to call us back. Please bear with us if you do have to wait a short time. For reasons of caller confidentiality we do not offer the option to leave a message.

All volunteers that provide telephone, email and webchat support have experienced a personal pet bereavement and completed an 8 week accredited training course.

The support line volunteers are not counsellors, but are trained in providing emotional support. They are there to listen and to help you gently explore how you are feeling. They are not there to tell you what to do or how to react, as everyone experiences grief in a unique way. Having direct experience of pet loss, our volunteers can empathise with what you are going through. If you do need additional help then they can point you in the right direction.

You can talk to PBSS for as long as you feel it’s helpful. Everything you tell us is in confidence, unless you were to tell us anything that suggested that you or someone else was in danger.

On rare occasions, the PBSS may need to make the difficult decision to remove access to the support service for an individual.  This may be due to inappropriate behaviour or language, frequency of calls or anything deemed unacceptable by the PBSS Team.

We are a pet charity and we offer our support line services free of charge to you as a result of generous donations from our supporters who make this possible.

Some calls may be recorded to monitor quality standards within our service. All recordings are treated with the same confidentiality as live calls and are deleted within 30 days.

What can I expect from the webchat support line?

Our trained webchat volunteers are available between 8.30am and 8.30pm daily.

When going onto the website, the icon will be visible if there is a volunteer available to chat or if you are the next in line to be answered.  If the icon is not visible, please try our phone lines, email us, or try webchat at a later time.  Please bear with us if you have to wait a short time. 

If you are on hold in the queue, you will be given further options signposting you to help.  

You will be able to talk about your feelings just as you would if you were calling us and everything you share with the support line volunteer is confidential within the service, unless you were to tell us anything that suggests that you or someone else was in danger.  

All transcripts from chats are kept for one month. 

What can I expect if I contact the email support line?

When you email [email protected] a trained volunteer will answer within 48 hours. Their email address will have their first name followed by pbss.org.uk.

If you are emailing us from your workplace please make sure that our contact address appears in your address book so that it avoids our response to you being treated as spam.

You will be able to talk about your feelings just as you would if you were calling us. Everything you share with the support line volunteer is confidential, unless you were to tell us anything that suggests that you or someone else was in danger. 

Let us know what you think about the service

It helps us to know that we are reaching pet owners and others who may need to use our service. We are also keen to know how the service has helped you and we are equally keen to know when we have not done quite so well.

Please do use our feedback form to tell us what you think.

Alternatively, contact us on 01993 867216 or write to: PBSS, Blue Cross, Shilton Road, Burford, Oxon OX18 4PF.

PBSS Standards of Service

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