When one woman broke up with her boyfriend, she probably didn’t expect her dog to get caught in the crossfire. However, her ex dumped the animal more than 1,000 miles from home. Then, in a bizarre twist, a stranger took the pet on a road trip.
Ikea Mosley lives in Wichita, Kansas, with her children and their eight-year-old dog, Zimba. In 2017, Mosley was in a relationship. One day, her boyfriend set out on a trip to Maryland. So Mosley didn’t think twice about letting Zimba go with him to keep her beau company.
However, during the journey, Mosley and her boyfriend’s relationship turned sour. They split, and in what was likely a fit of anger, the man dumped Zimba somewhere between Wichita and Mosley’s ex’s intended destination in Maryland.
To make matters worse, Mosley’s ex-boyfriend started to ignore her calls. And as the months passed, the mother probably gave up all hope of ever seeing her precious pitbull mix again. However, that’s when she received a surprise message.
Someone had found Zimba wandering the streets. Thankfully, they took the time to report the stray to animal control. As a result, an officer went to collect the dog. She then delivered him the local Humane Society, where staff were looking after him.
Because Mosley had microchipped Zimba, it was then easy for animal welfare workers to locate her. Mosley was delighted that Zimba was safe and well and probably couldn’t wait to get him home. However, there was a problem.
Zimba was 1,300 miles away at the Caroline County Humane Society in Maryland. And given her responsibilities to her job and her children, Mosley had no way of collecting her beloved dog. So, for the time being at least, it looked like Zimba would have to stay put.
However, staff at the Humane Society were determined to get Zimba home. “We tried contacting airlines but that proved to be an unsuccessful solution,” read a post on the organization’s Facebook page. “We even contacted the Humane Society where his mom had originally adopted him. They did not have a solution for us either.”
It seemed that every turn they took, a dead end awaited them. Throughout the whole drama, the animal control officer who had collected Zimba, Kaitlyn Noffsinger, kept her boyfriend, Zach Holt, updated with what was going on.
As a dog lover and former animal control officer himself, Holt felt for Mosley and her family. The bartender, who lives in Ridgely, MD, has his own dog named Forrest, as well as a cat called Sullivan. And he couldn’t bear to think about being so far away from them.
In 2017, Holt told WJZ, “I can’t imagine my right-hand man being gone that long.” That’s when he had a major thought. Maybe he could drive Zimba home to his family and still get back in time for work at the weekend.
After consulting his diary, Holt realized the feat was possible. “I’m a bartender,” he explained. “I strictly work, you know, the weekends and Monday and I have Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday off. And four days is plenty of time to get to Kansas and back, so I said, ‘Why not?’”
Amazingly, it appeared Zach was willing to do the good deed out of the goodness of his heart. However, the Caroline County Humane Society was keen to repay him for his kindness. Consequently, staff decided to raise some money towards the trip.
With that in mind, the shelter turned to its supporters for donations. “Zach is doing this strictly as a volunteer, asking for nothing,” a statement from the organization explained. “However we are incredibly grateful and need to try to raise money to cover his gas, tolls, and other expenses incurred.”
While the shelter rallied support, Holt and Zimba set off on the 20-hour trip to Wichita on December 5, 2017. Their journey started off without a hitch. According to Holt, Zimba made the perfect driving companion. In fact, he slept most of the first day.
So Holt was able to deliver Zimba back to Mosley without a problem. And despite the long drive, the kind stranger was just happy to give the family their happy ending. “It’s more than worth it. It’s very fulfilling,” he told KWCH in 2017.
But despite Holt’s modesty, Mosley was more than grateful for his actions. “I’m very, very thankful. I’m, like, speechless ’cause I really can’t believe he drove all the way here,” she admitted in an emotional interview.
Mosley added, “I’m very truly blessed that Zach brought him back to me. I’m a single mom, so I wasn’t able to get away from work to get to him. If I could have, I would have drove all the way to get him.”
According to Connie Cook from Caroline County Humane Society, Zimba’s story reminded all animal owners to tag their pets. “We are just so thrilled we found the dog, he has a microchip, his mom wants him back and Zach stepped up,” she told the Caroline Times Record. “The microchip is why he’s going home.”
To make the reunion even more special, Zimba arrived home right before the festive season. So Mosley had all her family under one roof for the holidays. And considering what they had been through, it was a Christmas miracle in anyone’s eyes.