Cat who walked 12 miles back to family who then tried to euthanize him finds new home

Seven-year-old ginger’s original family asked for him to be put down

Toby the cat who walked for miles to be reunited with his family, only for them to ask for him to be put down, looks for his new home

A cat whose story went viral when his original family asked for him to be put down after he walked 12 miles from his new home to join them, has been placed with a new family.

Toby, a seven-year-old ginger’s, original family had given him away to another one because they did not want him anymore. But the feisty feline navigated the long journey back to his original home in Raleigh, North Carolina, so that he could be with them again.

Rather than welcoming him back, his original family took him to a local animal shelter and asked if he could be euthanised.

However, instead of putting him down, the shelter made a call to animal protection charity, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), who took him into their shelter to be rehomed.

When Toby first arrived at their shelter he was “laid back and “people-friendly”, but not too keen on other cats, the charity's communications manager Tara Lynn told The Independent.

He has now found a home with mum, Michele, and her children, the charity said separately earlier this week. He also has two other cats around the house to keep him company and his family says they are “getting along well”.

Ms Lynn described Toby’s story as “heart-breaking”, adding that they did not know all the details about why the family asked for him to be put down but "he got a second chance."

Toby was rejected by the family he walked 12 miles to be with
Toby the cat settles into his temporary home at the SPCA shelter in Raleigh 

Toby is infected with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), which means that his immune system is weakened, but this should not prevent him from living a long, otherwise healthy life as long as he has people around him who look out for signs of secondary symptoms, and take him for regular appointments with a vet.

“If an owner is motivated to provide a good life for [an FIV positive cat], with regular veterinary care, vaccinations and so on, then there is no reason that it will not live as long and happy a life as any other cat," according to the Cats Protection website.

Toby with his new mum Michele 

“If people are moved by Toby’s story, we ask that they take action rather than just commenting on the story online,” Ms Lynn said. “Toby wouldn’t have the happy ending that he has now if we didn’t have volunteers, staff and the funding to do the work we do. We hope his story inspires people to make a donation, consider adopting from a shelter or becoming a volunteer. Or all three.”

Toby seems to be adjusting to life with his new family pretty well, with his mum Michele telling the SPCA it is like “he’s always been here”.

You can see lots of Toby pictures and keep up to date with his new family life on his Instagram page

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