SAN ANTONIO – Editor’s note: After this article was first published, Valerie Pantoja informed KSAT that the care trailer was found and the damage to it can be repaired.
Pantoja said some equipment was missing and the trailer was not found in prime condition, but that the damage can be repaired.
When Valerie Pantoja arrived Monday to start another busy week, she went to a U.S. warehouse on Loop 410 and Highway 151 to pick up the trailer she uses for her business, Zoomie’s Mobile Dog Grooming.
“My gate was open, the lock was completely missing and my work trailer was gone,” said Pantoja.
She said the 15-foot trailer was kept in the back of the property so it couldn’t be seen from the street.
But whoever stole it still managed to find the trailer loaded with thousands of dollars in grooming devices, tools and accessories, everything Pantoja needed for her business.
She said it didn’t help that the surveillance video she posted on the Zoomie’s Facebook page shows the exit gate they walked in and out of was left open after being pinched earlier in the day .
“It happened in less than ten minutes,” said Pantoja.
The trailer had been hooked up to a late-model bright Dodge Ram pickup truck and then dragged away on a chain.
Pantoja was saying they had stolen their livelihood.
She said many of her customers have older dogs, some with special needs, most of whom are her neighbors who enjoy the convenience of a mobile dog grooming service.
“I’ve seen her post and my heart is literally broken for her only because she is so good at what she does,” said her client Felicia Escalante. “This is her life. This is how she earns her income. “
Another frequent client, Susan Michael, said, “It’s just amazing that anyone would do this to her.”
Michael said Pantoja is the only dog groomer that her dog Rupert trusts.
“She’s the only groomer he’ll actually run to,” said Michael. “All the other snow groomers he’s running away from.”
Though she wanted to be a veterinarian, Pantoja said she had worked in veterinary clinics since she was a teenager and volunteered with the San Antonio Humane Society until she eventually learned how to care for dogs at age 16.
Pantoja said even if Zoomie’s colorful truck is found abandoned, she could potentially start over.
“At the very beginning with nothing in my hand but the knowledge in my head,” said Pantoja.
Anyone with information about the theft late Saturday night or the location of the trailer is asked to call the San Antonio Police Department.
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