Pet shop

Just paw-fect – Animal lovers open natural pet shop in North Staffordshire town

A couple from North Staffordshire who met for the love of animals have opened their own pet shop in the Moorlands.

Emma Wilkes and David Gunn met in college – and now Dave’s cat, Tiberius, lives in harmony with Emma x Jack Russell’s pug, Darwin – after the couple bonded over their animal worship. company.

After working with animals for 20 years – Emma took the plunge to open Darwin’s Pet Supplies – named after her beloved four-year-old puggle in Biddulph.

Darwin’s Pet Supplies opened today (Saturday 24 April) at 9 a.m. with the first 25 customers to spend over £ 10 receiving a free gift bag full of treats and toys.

Inside Darwin’s Pet Supplies, Biddulph

Emma turned the old mobility store into a dog shelter in just four weeks.

The 42-year-old dog lover, from Newcastle, said: ‘Early last year I started my own dog walking business, but when Covid hit in March the business didn’t never took off. So that seemed like the next step for me – opening a pet store! “

Emma has gained extensive hands-on experience working with animals, having worked in a local veterinary practice, horse stables, a farm and a zoo.

She went on to study at Reaseheath College and obtained a Diploma in Animal Behavior and Welfare Management and a Diploma in Zoo Management.

And her thirst for knowledge didn’t end there, as she is currently studying for a Masters in Research at Staffordshire University on how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected dog behavior due to changes in dog routine. their owners.

David Gunn and Emma Wilkes of Darwin’s Pet Supplies

Emma added: “I have always loved animals and worked for a vet 20 years ago. In 2012, I wasn’t happy in the particular role I was playing at the time, and I realized that the only time I was really happy was when I was working with animals. Dogs bring so much joy, there is no such thing.

“So far we have received great feedback from the Biddulph community and have seen dogs dragging their owners across the road to enter. We have been very busy all morning.

Darwin’s offers a range of weird and wonderful natural dog chews, from pork snouts to venison thighs, as well as dog and cat food, treats, toys, collars and grooming equipment.

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Emma added, “We are very committed to sustainability, so a lot of our products are natural or eco-friendly, like our poo bags and racks.

“We also have pieces for guinea pigs and rabbits, just in case people want to pick them up while they’re here!”

“We thought it would be nice for pet owners to have a store where they could get everything they need to keep their pets happy and healthy in one convenient place.

“We want shopping at Darwin’s Pet Supplies to be an experience the whole family can enjoy. Bring your pets to the store and we’ll give them the VIP treatment while you shop.

Dave, 42, added, “We’re really excited about the business, and we think the customers are too. Today a husky puppy came to help himself to the treats and toys he wanted his owner to buy!

Darwin’s Pet Supplies is open Monday through Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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