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When Smudge their beloved Staffie died, Sharon Hutchings and Mark Pike decided to launch a new business in her name.

The result was Pampered Pooches, a high-quality dog grooming service which now has over 200 canine clients around South Wales.

Based in Cwmavon, the mobile service caters for dogs of all shapes and sizes, offering grooming, nail clipping, and ear cleaning and all the other necessities owners want for their pets.

‘It really is a labour of love,” said Sharon. “We both love dogs so much, that when Smudge passed away in 2015 we wanted to do something in her memory.”

Pampered Pooches has been operating for a year and has steadily increased its client base in that time. “We are very busy, but still looking for new dogs we can care for,” said Sharon.

A bespoke vehicle from a specialist supplier provides top quality facilities, and both Sharon and Mark have obtained Advanced Dog Grooming qualifications.

The business was supported by a Kickstart grant of £500 for essentials. The Kickstart programme is run jointly by Tata Steel subsidiary UK Steel Enterprise and Neath Port Talbot Council.

“The grant helped us a lot when we launched, and we are grateful for all the support we have received,” added Sharon.

Glyn Thomas, Area Manager in Wales for UK Steel Enterprise, said: “Pampered Pooches offers a useful service to the community and we are very pleased to have been able to provide support to get the business on the road.”

Taking the lead: Keeta prepares for her treatment by Mark Pike with (left to right) Glyn Thomas UK Steel Enterprise, Kevin Lugg Neath Port Talbot Council and Sharon Hutchings.

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