Putting Your Pet Into Boarding?

Putting your pet into boarding? Make sure premises are licensed!

We are known as a nation of animal lovers, who lavish time and money on our adored pets.

Most people know that if they put their pooch or cat into boarding kennels, those premises need to be licensed. But few realise that a licence is needed by anyone who takes care of a dog or a cat for a fee in their own home or in premises other than the owner's home.

This means some people, keen to be helpful and board Fido or Felix while you're away for a few days, may unwittingly be breaking the law.

Dog walkers are not required to hold a licence unless the dog is cared for at the dog walker's property.

Anyone wishing to look after a dog or cat for a fee or operate a boarding kennel or cattery will need a licence from the local authority. The licence will stipulate the number of animals that may be kept at the premises along with other specific conditions. These licences and conditions are to ensure the welfare of families pets when they need to be temporarily placed in the trust of one of these businesses.

Anyone wishing to check if their current dog sitter holds a valid licence, please contact the licensing team on 01494 732258 and there's more information on http://www.chiltern.gov.uk/animalboarding

Chiltern District Council's Cabinet Member for Community, Health and Housing, Cllr Graham Harris, said: "The last thing we would want to do is have to prosecute anyone under the Animal Boarding Establishment Act, but the bottom line is, anyone operating without an appropriate licence is liable to up to 51 weeks prison or a fine of up to £5000. If anyone is using their home or other premises to board other people's pets will probably need a licence. If in doubt,  please check with our licensing officers."

South Bucks District Council's Portfolio Holder for Healthy Communities Cllr Paul Kelly said: "With more pet owners working, I can see how easily it would be for someone to offer to look after a friend or neighbour's dog during the day without appreciating that they may contravening  animal welfare laws. Our licensing team is there to help and advise. It's better to check first if you are thinking of having a pet looked after for any length of time."


Published: 19 October 2016