Rescue dogs

Clapham couple launch online shop to save dogs

A husband and wife living in Clapham have started a business whose mission is to help dogs in need of rescue and rehoming.

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

An online dog store selling treats, toys and sustainable care items, the company muthapuppa promises that 100% of its profits will go towards its goal of saving dogs.

The end goal is for the business to grow enough that it can use the money to build new rescue and drop-in centers.

While funding their own mission, Muthapuppa is also committed to donating 1% of profits and donations to each of their chosen charities: Blue Cross, All Dogs Matter and Battersea Dogs homes.

A study by Direct Line Pet Insurance of over 500 dog placement centers in the UK found that over 75% of centers in the UK reported seeing an increase in the number of dogs being taken up for adoption.

Giuseppe told the Wandsworth Times: ‘The problem has become so serious that one in four centers are at capacity and have to turn dogs away.

“It’s a combination of factors – the pandemic has led to a lot of people getting dogs and for some reason they haven’t been able to keep them.

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

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

“We have always been big dog fanatics as we have two and always wanted to start a social purpose business.

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

“We’re not rich, we’re not in some kind of mansion somewhere, we rent in Clapham – we’re just a normal couple trying to use our skills and experience to do something better for the world.”

An online dog store selling treats, toys and sustainable care items, the company muthapuppa promises that 100% of its profits will go towards its goal of saving dogs

The couple described the birth of muthapuppa as quite spontaneous, with Giuseppe waking up at 5 a.m. one morning and writing the whole business plan down on a piece of paper on the spot.

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

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

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

Both Kim and Giuseppe have professional backgrounds that help them in the daily management of the business.

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

They are aware that the business model is still in its infancy, but both are excited to be working on building many new dog rescue and placement centers.

Giuseppe explained: “In terms of when we are going to start with the relocation centers – because we have only just started, the only answer I can give at the moment is as soon as possible.

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

“It could be a brand new site or the reopening of a site that was already closed.

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

“The more people who support us, the faster we will get there.”

Muthapuppa will host a temporary temporary show at The Polygon, Clapham on June 26 to engage the local community in his mission.

Giuseppe said, “The pop-up store will be a great opportunity for people to meet us and for us to reach out to the community.

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

“We’re raising a bit more awareness on the issue and have an engaged community on social media.”