This cat walked 12 miles to get back to a family that didn't want him. They still don't.

This cat walked 12 miles to get back to a family that didn't want him. They still don't.
Toby the cat, who walked 12 miles to return to a family that didn't want him. The SPCA of Wake County shared Toby's story to help promote his adoption and an event to help raise funds for the rescue, spcawake.org/walk. (Credit: SPCA of Wake County)

RALEIGH, N.C. (Abbie Bennett | The News and Observer) - When Toby the cat's family no longer wanted him, they gave him to another family. But Toby missed them and walked 12 miles back to his home.

When he arrived, he was met with heartbreak. The family he thought had loved him took him to a shelter and asked staff to euthanize him, according to the SPCA of Wake County.

"The shelter called us at the SPCA to ask if we could take him in and help him find a new family," the SPCA wrote on Facebook on April 4. "Of course we said YES!"

The 7-year-old orange and white kitty tested positive for feline immunodeficiency virus and had a cold when he was brought to the SPCA in February but was being cared for by staff.

The SPCA did not identify where Toby came from or who his original family was, though many people on social media said the family should not only be identified but should be blacklisted from adopting pets in the future.

"Toby is safe here at the SPCA Pet Adoption Center waiting to find his forever home. He would prefer to be the only cat in his home. We hope his story inspired you to take a stand for animals in need," the SPCA wrote.

The SPCA used Toby's story to help promote his adoption and its 2018 Dogwalk and Woofstock, an event to help raise funds for the animal rescue on May 6 in Cary.

"If he is willing to walk 12 miles to save his life, will you walk ONE to save thousands of animals like Toby?"

But it looks like Toby's story has a happy ending. He was adopted and even has his own Instagram page.

A Facebook post about Toby had nearly 800 shares by April 16, nearly 200 comments and 900 reactions.

A video of Toby had more than 5,300 views.

For more information on the SPCA, to donate, adopt or volunteer, go to spcawake.org.