Toby the reject dog wants you to mend his broken heart

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Toby the dog. Photo: Canile di Varese
13:58 CET+01:00
Dog-lovers in Italy have launched a social media campaign to save Toby, a dog who was twice rejected and has heart problems.

Valentine's Day is approaching, and the only heart on the minds of staff at Varese kennels, a dog shelter in north-west Italy, is little Toby's broken one.

This is what they wrote on Facebook as part of a campaign to raise €2,500 for the pooch's life-saving heart operation.

A two-year-old cross between a bulldog and hunting dog, Toby has had a tough start to life.

Having been taken in by the kennels as a stray last summer, he was adopted in November only to be returned to the kennel by his new owners two months later.

And he suffers from a malfunctioning heart valve.

Since the campaign began on Monday, via social media and local newspapers, the total had already surpassed €600 on Wednesday.

Stefano Giani from Varese Kennels told The Local: "The public response certainly surprised us. We don't often ask for money from the public except in very specific situations; for Toby it's going better than we could have expected."

The operation has been booked for March 3rd and thanks to Toby's young age, Giani says it has a high chance of success.

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The kennel is also looking for a new family to welcome Toby into their home.

"Toby is very lively," Giani added. "Of course, the heart problem tires him out and make him anxious, but he's a dog with a great character and an active, playful temperament."

Toby's Facebook page, along with information on how to donate, can be found here.

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