From education to employment

Dragon’s Den star’s seal of approval for Oswestry FE dog breeding course creator

An iPET Network course creator who campaigns for dog and puppy welfare in Oswestry has had her work recognised by Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis.

Rebecca Walters runs Pupstarts Breeders, providing educational training for the dog breeding community and worked with iPET Network to create the UK’s first qualification for breeders earlier this year.

A former animal warden who saw first-hand the reality unwanted dogs suffer, she’s supported breeders to raise around 8,000 healthy and happy puppies since setting out to revolutionise the dog breeding profession in 2020.

She is also a champion of the iPET Network’s Safe Pets and People campaign, which is calling for mandatory first aid qualifications for all UK pet professionals.

Rebecca shared her passion for pups with dog lover Theo, who has a Cocker Spaniel, Gladys in his weekly SBS Twitter competition, and he chose her as a winner in September.

Rebecca said:

“Winning this award means our dedication to building a strong community and supporting dog breeders to breed ethically and responsibly has been recognised.

“It means more people will know how important it is that they find an ethical breeder if they want to welcome a puppy into their lives and is a step towards stamping out puppy farmers.

“Writing, developing, and gaining accreditation for the UK’s first nationally recognised educational pathway for breeders took grit but the difference we are making for dogs and puppies is so worth it.

“To have Theo crown us one of his SBS winners validates our hard work and inspires us to keep fighting for improved welfare for dogs and puppies.”

Small Business Sunday is weekly initiative set up by Theo Paphitis in 2010 and it now has more than 3,000 winners within its supportive community.

Theo said:

“We are thrilled to welcome new #SBS members every week and highlight just how important it is to support our small businesses here in the UK.

“My vision is that everyone who has ever won an #SBS re-tweet from me becomes part of a friendly club; like-minded individuals who can share successes and learnings.

“The website will also give a valuable profile to the winners chosen and I wish Rebecca and Pupstarts Breeders every success.”

Business and retail entrepreneur and self-confessed Shopkeeper, Theo re‐tweeted Rebecca Walters  message to his almost 500,000 followers and as a result, has 500 more followers and extra orders for their educational courses for dog breeders.

They are also profiled on the #SBS website ( that is exclusive to all Small Business Sunday winners.

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