Animal care mission takes alarming twist

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By Carol A. Clark

Left with a choice to board a chicken bus notorious for kidnappings and murder or to pitch and plummet through a ferocious thunderstorm in a small plane, Shayna Whitaker of White Rock, and her business partner Pam Salazar Trujillo of Chimayó, survived the latter.

The peril developed for the “Zoom and Groom” mobile pet grooming salon owners following a week-long charitable mission to Little Corn Island off the coast of Nicaragua.

The pair was about to return to New Mexico after helping spay, neuter and provide health care to a significant portion of the island’s overwhelming animal population when a gas strike sparked a riot that grounded flights off the island.

The women finally arrived home June 26, five days late and worried about their clientele, said Whitaker during an interview Thursday.

“All of our tips during May and money some of our customers donated was used for the trip,” she said. “We want them all to know how much we appreciate their generosity. Los Alamos is really a nice community to give people like me money to do this kind of work.”

The women’s mission began June 13, following an invitation from Whitaker’s mentor, Dr. Tom Parker of Valley Veterinary Clinic in Pojoaque, for whom she worked after veterinary college.

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