We could write for days about Zinty. However, his videos and photos will tell the bigger story.

    Zinty was foaled at Hearts & Hands Animal Rescue. His mother was part of a rescued group of Grant’s zebras from the 2003 Cedar Creed Wild fire in California. Zinty was foaled amid a lot of excitement over his impending arrival.

    He was a beautiful baby and took to Friendship Training like a duck to water. He learned to lay down, come to, away, back, do the entire in hand trail course, retrieve, and many, many other behaviors for him to have fun with.


    In fact, he trained up so well that Nancy Nunke took him to horse shows and he ended up with year end high point halter horse awards!


    At about a year and a half old, one day, Zinty heard the feed cart coming. He jumped up in the air. His front feet went one way. His hind feet went the other. When he came down, he realized he wasn’t a cat. His hind feet did not hit the ground squarely and all his weight came down at an angle. There was a big ‘snap’ sound. His pelvis was broken.


    Zinty spent the next year and three months in a stall in the barn. He never one said he didn’t want to be here but would prefer to go over the rainbow bridge. He always was determined to get better.


    Once his pelvis was healed, then came rehabilitation. That process has been going on for five years now. Never think that you are healed and that is what it is going to be forever, just after a year. That is what we are normally told. Not the case! Zinty has been in recovery and progressing year after year after year.


    He gets Reiki energy work and MRS (Magnetic Resonance Stimulation). He receives sports physical therapy daily. He roams the entire ranch at his leisure. He has gold implants in acupuncture points, which he got in 2012. This catapulted his recovery even more.


    He has one leg shorter than the other because his growth plates could no longer provide growth development to that leg when he broke his pelvis, as he was still growing.


    His next step is to receive a custom made shoe lift so that his hips and pelvis will line up nicely.


    Zinty gallops all over the ranch. He plays practical jokes on everyone, and is the life of the party. If you ever come to San Diego area…come and visit with Zinty. He will make your day…week…month…or maybe even year.


    Zinty sadly passed away in 2016. His feet finally gave out on him and he decided that it was time for him to go. It was a very sad day but we knew it was coming as he spent most of his time the previous month laying down. Three days before he passed he got up and left the barn for a time, visiting all his friends, moving slowly from animal to animal, horse, donkey, mule, zorse, zonkey, miniature horse, goats, and he stayed with each one for a couple of minutes in quiet discussion. Some rubbed on him. Others dropped their heads in deference. All knew what Zinty was conveying to them. When he had finished his goodbye’s, he gingerly came back into the barn, into his stall, his “room” as Meaghan always called them, and lay down. We asked him if he would like a pizza party the next day. He got excited and and said “yes, yes yes!” We made the plan and the following day some of his closest human friends came. We got him up in his sling, which had been his only way of standing until his ever so surprising walk about the previous day. As his toes touched the floor of his stall, he pushed and moved himself back and forth from corner to corner, trying to make us laugh at his antics. Right to the end, Zinty wanted to make us laugh. When the pizza arrived, Zinty ended up eating half of his vegan pizza with joy and the old glint in his eyes. We had such a good time. Each person hugged and loved on Zinty and had some private time with him. The next morning Zinty said he needed to leave, but the longing in his eyes said differently. As his favorite two people, Jim Whipple and I (Nancy Nunke) sat with him, he laid his head in my lap and stared into my eyes, never for a moment taking them away from mine. We talked for a time, remembering some of his funniest moments, when he played tricks on the volunteers or on Meaghan or myself, or on Jim. He wanted us smiling at his antics right to the end. That was Zinty. When we ran out of words and the movies in our heads, we just glued out eyes together in love. I told him he could go. He exhaled. Our Zinty was gone, but the lessons he taught all of us would remain forever embedded in our hearts and minds. Zinty taught us the deep love and generosity of a so called “wild animal”. He taught us that even in the depths of pain or adversity to continue to laugh and play. He taught us to keep our friends close and to stay loyal to them forever. He taught us love, love, love. There isn’t a day that goes by that Zinty is not spoken of or in our thoughts, even years latar, as we can finally bring ourselves to edit Zinty’s story and tell of his passing. He was one of the most beautiful souls God ever created to cross our paths and make us better people. (Edited Feb 14, 2020)


    Check out Zinty’s video clips for a smile today.


    Please donate in Zinty’s name to the other zebras at Hearts & Hands.