Pets News

San Diego pet whisperer who used inheritance to buy grooming trailer loses business to fire – NBC 7 San Diego

Neighbors call John Curmak the cat whisperer.

Customer Nadi Ovanessoff said her cat, Guava, was feral and badly matted before Curmak stepped in.

“Nobody else would see her,” Ovanessoff said. “The vets wouldn’t see her unless she was sedated. We couldn’t get her sedated. I called John and he said, ‘Bring her in.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, my God.’ ”

Pet grooming and rescue are his calling. When he lost his father a year ago, John used his inheritance to buy the Pampered Paws mobile grooming business.

“I know he would have wanted it,” Curmak said.

Curmak’s life changed in early March, however, when he was fueling up and the gas line exploded.

Fire trailed up his arm and spread to his trailer, destroying it within 10 minutes.

“I think I’m still alive because of all the animals I’m helping,” Curmak said. “I think God’s like, ‘Listen, if you go, you know, a lot of animals won’t get help .’ ”

There are as many as 500,000 stray cats roaming around the county, according to the San Diego Humane Society. Their lives are dangerous.

“They get attacked by coyotes,” Ovanessoff said. “They get hit by cars. They’re not finding enough food. They’re in desperate need of help. And John is one of those people who helps.”J

John groomed all animals, pets or strays, out of Pampered Paws. The trailer was purchased so recently that he was still looking for insurance when it burned.

As paramedics tended to his wounds, Curmak’s mind was somewhere else.

“They wanted me to go to the hospital,” Curmak said. “I’m like, ‘No, who’s going to take care of all … I don’t know. I got too many cats that need me.’ ”

Curmak wants to buy a new trailer so he can get back to what he does best: Tending to the street cats that need him.

“You can’t go to bed when you haven’t been able to help and you can’t help, you know?” Curmak asked. “It’s really hard to get a good night’s rest when you can’t help it out.”

San Diego Fire-Rescue said a wiring malfunction likely started the fire. Curmak’s friend has started an online fundraiser to help recover his losses.

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