Cat Walks 12 Miles Back To Original Owners, Only To Be Given Up Again


Meet Toby.

Toby is the type of cat that would do anything to be with the ones he loves. And that’s exactly what he did: After his family of seven years gave him away, Toby walked 12 miles to be reunited with them. 

The owners of the 7-year-old Maine Coon mix tried to place him in another household, but somehow Toby found his way outside. And then the determined feline made the 12-mile trek back to what he thought was his home and family. 

But instead of being greeted with open arms, Toby was taken to a local shelter, where his previous owners requested that he be euthanized.

Not wanting to euthanize a healthy cat, the shelter contacted the SPCA of Wake County in Raleigh, North Carolina, asking if they could take Toby and find help get him adopted.

The SPCA took him immediately, touched by his story, and worked together to find him a forever home like they do with hundreds of other homeless cats and dogs.

“It’s a hard concept for me to understand: somebody asking that a pet be euthanized,” said Tara Lynn, ASPCA of Wake County’s communications manager.


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It’s unclear why Toby’s original family requested he be put down instead of putting him up for adoption. Toby’s former family had noted that Toby had difficulties with their other cats. Toby also has FIV, feline immunodeficiency virus, which behaves similarly to HIV. FIV weakens a cat’s immune system and makes them more vulnerable to illnesses. But with proper medical treatment, FIV-positive cats can and do live out happy, healthy lives.

Lynn also told TODAY that Toby’s diagnosis of feline immunodeficiency virus might have influenced the family’s decision in requesting to have him euthanized. 

After waiting 45 days in the SPCA shelter (where he received lots of cuddles and plenty of toys), Toby found the forever home he deserves.  

Toby was adopted on Friday the 13th, which turned out to be his lucky day! 

You can follow Toby's adventures with his new family on his Instagram!


Safe Forever now🧡

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Toby is living it up in the lap of luxury with his new mom and two new siblings, getting the love he truly deserves. 



Hanging out with my new friend Lilah!!💗💙

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  • Jan Kimbell

    I am so happy for Toby! And ‘Thanks!’ to those that recognized the special being that he is. They waited and found a family for him that’s deserving of his kind of love!

    I just don’t understand people that would kill an animal who showed them so much love and kindness by returning to them. ‘Euthanize’ is such a sanitary term. More appropriate word is ‘kill’ for this situation (however, to my mind, this was an attempt at ‘sanctioned murder’).

  • Nancy Walsh

    So happy for Toby to have finally a family who really loves him! It was heartbreaking to read what this beautiful boy has been through & how horribly he was treated by former people. Thank you for rescuing him! Maine Coons are one of the sweetest, smartest cats! Will definitely be following Toby on Instagram!💖

  • Teresa E.

    I cried when I read Toby’s story. People use all kinds of excuses to get rid of pets. Animal lovers? I think not. I feel very sorry for the other cats that belong to Toby’s first family. What are they going to do if those cats get sick? Dump them too? I’m so happy that Toby now has a great family that will love him. Note to Toby: PLEASE DON’T GO BACK TO THAT OTHER FAMILY!!!

  • Regina L Armes

    Thank you to all who helped Toby along the way!! God bless every one of you!

  • sharon

    so happy toby is being loved!! Cats are love!!

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