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Danbury’s Mary Oquendo Is Honored with Dog Grooming Industry’s Most Prestigious Award

Owner of Hands and Paw Reiki for All’s Wins Industry Award for her Assistance to Others During Hurricane Sandy

AZUSA, Calif. – The Oscars of competitive dog grooming, the Cardinal Crystal Grooming Achievement Awards, were held recently at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, with members of the industry gathering to honor the best and the brightest groomers, contest judges and pet salons of the year.  Among the award recipients was Mary Oquendo of Danbury, who was presented with the David G. Salzberg Award for her outstanding contributions to those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Mary has been grooming for 15 years and is co-owner of Hands and Paws Reiki For All, providing wellness programs for both people and pets that include reiki, crystal therapy and workshops. Mary is a Reiki Master as well as an Advanced Crystal Master. When she is not working with Hands and Paws Reiki for All (, which is in its first year of business, she is also a columnist for Groomer to Groomer magazine.

Mary was awarded the David G. Salzberg Award at this year’s Cardinal Crystal Grooming Achievement Awards for her assistance to others during Hurricane Sandy. She worked closely with Blankets and Bowls, an organization that collects and then distributes supplies to those shelters than need them. Mary collected supplies that Blankets and Bowls needed to send along to shelters along the coast that had been affected by Hurricane Sandy. Along with Sue Pratt, another winner of this year’s David G. Salzberg’s Award, Mary was also part of a Groom-A-Thon that helped raise money and supplies for those in need..

“The David G. Salzberg Award is presented annually to an individual who personally inspires groomers and supports the advancement of the grooming industry. The selflessness that Mary demonstrated during Hurricane Sandy makes her perfect candidate for this award,” said Barbara Denzer, Vice President of Cardinal Pet Care, a major manufacturer of pet products and sponsor of the Cardinal Crystal Grooming Achievement Awards.  “We are honored to present the David G. Salzberg Award to Mary for her contributions to those in need during Hurricane Sandy.”

The Cardinal Crystal Grooming Achievement Awards were founded in 1988 by Cardinal Pet Care President Tony de Vos and Shirlee Kalstone, then owner of the International Intergroom trade show for competitive grooming, for the purpose of establishing standards of grooming excellence and recognizing professional skills in the competitive grooming industry.  Since the beginning, the Cardinal Crystal Grooming Achievement Awards have been considered one of the highest honors in the pet grooming industry, annually presenting awards for outstanding achievement in several different grooming categoriesA complete description of the criteria for the awards can be found at

Cardinal Pet Care is a solar-powered company “Devoted to Pets, People and the Planet.”  In addition to providing pets with the highest quality products, Cardinal is dedicated to the environmental directive of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Pre-cycle whenever possible. Demonstrating its commitment to the environment, Cardinal has solar-powered corporate offices, warehouses and manufacturing facilities in Azusa, CA.

For more information, visit the Cardinal Crystal Grooming Achievement Awards website at .   More information is also available on the Cardinal Crystal Grooming Achievement Awards Facebook page -

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