New home appeal for scaredy-cat dog
FOR man's best friend, the lure of the great outdoors can send even the stumpiest tail wagging in frenzied excitement.
But one dog is so terrified of what lurks outside her kennel that she rarely ever meets other dogs and their owners.
Staff at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in London hope a televised appeal with Paul O'Grady will help agoraphobic Whisper find a new home.
Battersea's Karen Slavid has slowly built a rapport with the Staffordshire bull terrier (inset).
She said: "Whisper is a gentle, kind-natured dog and she is going to make the most amazing pet for someone who has the patience to slowly build her trust and confidence.
"We know she's going to need very understanding owners, but more than anything we want her to enjoy a life outside kennels like any other dog."
Whisper will only leave her kennel once all the other dogs are in bed for the night and the staff and visitors have gone home. Only when the grounds are deserted for the day does she feel it is safe to venture out.
Six-year-old Whisper has been at Battersea since being found cowering beneath a bush in Surrey last January.
Staff said her fear of the outdoors is probably a result of being kept in a shed or indoor cage.
Whisper's story will feature on ITV's Paul O'Grady: For The Love Of Dogs on Thursday at 8.30pm.