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Clapham couple launches online shop to rescue dogs

A husband and wife living in Clapham have launched a business with the mission of helping dogs in need of rescue and rehoming.

Giuseppe and Kimberley Bloom-Mangione decided to start muthapuppa after hearing about the current challenges facing the dog rescue industry.

An online dog shop selling sustainable treats, toys and care items, muthapuppa company pledges that 100 per cent of its profits will go towards its goal to rescue dogs.

The end goal is for the business to grow large enough that they are able to use the money to build new rescue and rehoming centers.

Whilst funding its own mission, muthapuppa is also pledging to donate one per cent of profits and donations to each of their chosen charities: Blue Cross, All Dogs Matter and Battersea Dogs homes.

A study of more than 500 UK dog rehoming centers by Direct Line Pet Insurance found that more than 75 per cent of the centers in the UK said they have seen an increase in dogs being brought to them for rehoming.

Giuseppe told the Wandsworth Times: “The problem has got so bad that one in four centers are at full capacity and are having to turn dogs away.

“It is a combination of factors – the pandemic led to a lot of people getting dogs and for whatever reason, they have not been able to keep them.

“The current cost of living crisis is making it very difficult for people to look after their dogs and keep them.

“There has been a huge increase in puppy farms too.

“We have always been dog fanatics as we have two of our own and we have always wanted to start a business with a social purpose at its core.

“So we sort of combined the two and realized we were in a good position to try and help solve the problem.

“We aren’t wealthy, we aren’t in some kind of mansion somewhere, we are renting in Clapham – we are just a normal couple trying to use our skills and experience to do something better for the world.”

An online dog shop selling sustainable treats, toys and care items, muthapuppa company pledges that 100 per cent of its profits will go towards its goal to rescue dogs

The couple described the birth of muthapuppa as quite spontaneous with Giuseppe waking up at 5am one morning and writing the entire business plan on a piece of paper right then and there.

The 35-year-olds officially launched the business on May 20 to coincide with National Rescue Dog Day and the anniversary of when they adopted one of their own dogs – Bear Cub.

Bear Cub is a five-year-old Pomapoo who they adopted from the Blue Cross in 2018.

They also own Alfred Winston, a seven-year-old Cavoodle who brought them over to the UK with them from Sydney.

Both Kim and Giuseppe have career backgrounds which assist them with the day-to-day running of the business.

Giuseppe previously ran small to medium businesses and Kim has a history in marketing for hospitality.

They are aware that the business model is still in the early stages, but both are excited to be working towards the building of many new rescue and rehoming centers for dogs.

Giuseppe explained: “In terms of when we will get started with the rehoming centers – because we’ve only just launched, the only answer I can give at the moment is asap.

“The more support we get from the public, the sooner we’ll get the first center up and running.

“That might be a brand-new site or reopening one that has already closed down.

“In the meantime, we are researching, speaking to as many people as possible and learning from existing rescue and rehoming centres.

“The more people that support us the quicker we will get there.”

Muthapuppa will be hosting a temporary pop-up show in The Polygon, Clapham, on June 26 to engage the local community with their mission.

Giuseppe said: “The pop-up shop is going to be a great opportunity for people to meet us and for us to reach out to the community.

“So far things have been amazing, and our friends and family have been so supportive.

“We are raising a little more awareness on the issue and have an engaged community on social media.”

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