The Sunday Times Driving Placeholder

News: Rescue centre struggles to find a home for dog with morbid fear of cars

Rover hates Rovers (and other cars)


Toby dog

A DOG with a morbid fear of cars has spent almost all of his life in a rescue centre because he won’t go anywhere near them when people offer him a home.

Toby arrived at the Hilbrae Pets Hotel as a 10-month-old stray in May 2003. Staff expected him to be rehomed in days but eleven years later, the collie is still there because of his four-wheel phobia. It means that anyone who wishes to adopt him would have to walk him home and keep him away from vehicles.

One couple did manage to get him home in their car but when they opened the boot, he leapt out and ran back to Hilbrae.


Search for and buy a dog-friendly used car on driving.co.uk


Claudia Churchill, who has worked as a supervisor at the rescue centre in Telford, Shropshire, for 22 years, is hoping someone will come forward and give Toby a retirement home.

She said: “We don’t know how he was abandoned and we don’t know why he is scared of cars. People love him but he gets overlooked because of his fear. Perhaps he was thrown from a car when he was abandoned.”

Churchill said Toby is an otherwise perfectly normal and happy dog who is good around children and other animals, and loves to chase a ball. His long sojourn at Hilbrae compares with the average stay at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home of 29 days.

Follow Toby’s search for a home on Twitter ‒ @hilbraetoby


Don’t know your BHPs from your MPVs? Click to take a look at our car jargon buster