It’s a heartbreaking event when your beloved pet goes missing. It’s not just about missing them. It’s about all of the anxiety, the worrying about whether or not they’re safe. One woman from Kansas just went through this horrible experience. But, then a stranger stepped in.
This story is about Ikea Mosley, a single mother living in Wichita, Kansas. She’s the proud parent of a pit bull mix named, Zimba. After eight years, Zimba has definitely earned his spot as part of the family, and is loved dearly. And that’s why, in September, their hearts were broken. Something happened that left the family feeling completely lost.
Mosley’s boyfriend was on a road trip with Zimba to Maryland. This wasn’t the first time Zimba had gone on a trip with him, but it would end up being his last. While the pair were in Maryland, Mosley and her boyfriend broke up. Zimba’s mother had expected to get him back once he returned from his trip, but the man she once trusted had an entirely different agenda.
All of a sudden, Mosley’s ex-boyfriend stopped answering his phone, and she began to think something was wrong. All she wanted was to get her beloved Zimba back, but after waiting for several weeks, Zimba was nowhere to be seen. She searched everywhere, but no Zimba. There was no way to tell if he was even in Kansas anymore.
It’s unbelievable, but Mosley’s boyfriend had actually abandoned Zimba in Maryland as payback for the break-up. For more than two months, Zimba wandered the streets of Ridgely. That was until Animal Control picked him up. Since he was technically a stray, he was brought to the Caroline County Humane Society, where they found and scanned his microchip. They couldn’t believe where Zimba was from!
The staff at CCHS could simply not figure out how a dog from Kansas, made it all the way to Maryland. Using the information found on the microchip, they got in touch with Mosley, and she told her story. Mosley and her kids were relieved to know Zimba was safe and just wanted to have him back. Now the question was how were they going to get him home.
Mosley tried getting the time off of work to go get him, but her job just couldn’t let her go. Because she had no one that could watch her children, she couldn’t make the drive to go get him, either. She also didn’t know anyone in Maryland that could go get him, so she turned to the CCHS to help. It wouldn’t be an easy feat, but they were more than happy to help.
The staff at CCHS made calls to several airlines, wondering whether they could give them a reduced ticket, or maybe even donate a flight. Unfortunately, they ended up having to look elsewhere. They then contacted the Humane Society where Zimba came from, but they weren’t able to help out, either. It looked like Zimba was stuck in Maryland. That’s when Zach Holt heard about the situation.
Zach Holt is currently a bartender, but he used to be employed by the CCHS. He is a lover of animals, so he still helps out whenever he can by spreading the word about animals that have gone missing or shelter pets that need a loving home. Because his girlfriend also works at the CCHS, he is able to stay in the know about what’s going on with the animals there. When he heard about Zimba, he knew he had to help.
“We couldn’t really find anyone up to it. We couldn’t come up with a solution and then Zach says, ‘I’ll drive him,'” stated an employee of CCHS, Connie Cook. “I’m a bartender who only works weekends, so I had the entire week free and figured ‘why not?’” Zach said. In order to help, the organization began spreading word bout Zach’s trip. They couldn’t believe the number of people interested in the story.
CCHS reached out to their Facebook community with their story and began asking for donations to cover the expenses for the road trip. Thanks to the amount of people writing about Zach, it wasn’t long before the post went viral. Zach was an Internet celebrity and he wasn’t even in Kansas, yet. People were so fascinated by this incredible story that they began wanting updates!
The public got what they asked for. CCHS kept them up-to-date with Zach’s trip. They even got to see pictures of Zimba in the towns that they passed through! People from all over wanted to help. “I live just outside of Wichita… our family would love to provide this man a meal and a tank of gas for his way home,” posted a commenter named Jessica Pruett. But, the person most excited about Zimba’s return was his mom.
The local news station, KWCH, was there to get Zimba’s arrival home on film. As Zach was walking Zimba across Mosley’s front lawn, she came out of the house and Zimba immediately began wagging his tail and tugging on his leash. She bent down to pet Zimba, overwhelmed with excitement. As she was being interviewed, Mosley had to hold back tears, while Zach’s arm was around her shoulder.
Mosley’s children were incredibly happy that they finally had Zimba back. Especially since it was the holidays and they didn’t want to be without him. “I told Zach I’m very blessed to have him in my life,” said Mosley. “I don’t know how I can thank him enough, honestly.” You’re probably wondering what happened to Zach. Well, he made it home safely, but not before he explained why he made the trip.
Zach had some wise words to share. “If people just try, that will make a difference. I guess that’s one of the messages – just try. All I had to do was sacrifice a little bit of time to get him back here, and that was well worth it,” Zach told KWCH. CCHS also used those words of wisdom as an opportunity to raise awareness for lost pets.
CCHS used their Facebook to let people know the importance of micro-chipping their pets and helping an animal whenever they can. At the end of their post, they concluded with a quote by author Jim Wallis: “If you consider that we cannot save them all, and what difference does one make… you ought to know the joy of the one who is saved.”