Animal boarding establishments licence
To run a boarding kennel or cattery, or board dogs in your own home, you need a licence from the local authority. The number of dogs and cats that may be accommodated will be specified on the licence along with other specific conditions.
A local authority may authorise an officer, veterinary surgeon or practitioner to inspect licensed premises.
An applicant must not be disqualified from:
- keeping an animal boarding establishment;
- keeping a pet shop under the Pet Animals Act 1951;
- keeping animals under the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954;
- owning, keeping, being involved in the keeping or being entitled to control or influence the keeping of animals, dealing in animals or transporting or being involved in the transportation of animals under the Animals Welfare Act 2006
Application evaluation process
Fees will be payable for applications and conditions may be attached.
The following criteria will be considered when the application is being evaluated:
- That the animals will be kept in suitable accommodation at all times. Suitable accommodation takes into account the construction and size of the accommodation, the number of animals to be housed in it, facilities for exercising the animals, cleanliness and temperature, lighting and ventilation provisions.
- That suitable food, drink and bedding materials will be provided and that the animals are exercised and visited regularly.
- That steps are taken to prevent and control the spread of disease among the animals and that isolation facilities are in place.
- That adequate protection is provided to the animals in the case of fire and other emergencies.
- That a register is kept. The register should contain a description of all animals received, their arrival and departure date and the name and address of the owner. The register should be available to be inspected at any time by a local authority officer, veterinary surgeon or practitioner.
Will tacit consent apply?
No. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the local authority within 28 days, please contact the licensing team. You can do this online if you applied through the UK Welcomes service or use the contact details below. The standard conditions must be met before a licence can be issued.
How to apply
You can apply for a new animal boarding establishment licence or renew or amend an existing licence online. Credit card payments are subject to a handling fee. There is no handling fee for debit card payments.
- Apply for a new licence to run an animal boarding establishment
- Apply to renew an animal boarding establishment licence
Apply by post
Failed application redress
Any applicant who is refused a licence can appeal to Richmond Magistrates' court, Parkshot, Richmond, Surrey TW9 2RF tel 020 8271 2300
Licence holder redress
Any licence holder who objects to any of the licensing conditions attached to a licence should contact the licensing officer to discuss the conditions. Applicants can appeal to Richmond Magistrates' court, Parkshot, Richmond, Surrey TW9 2RF or call 020 8271 2300.
We would always advise in the first instance that in the event of a complaint, you contact the animal boarding establishment. If you are not satisfied with their response please contact the licensing team on the details below.
If there are concerns about noise, pollution etc please contact the Council's Commercial Environmental Health team on 020 8891 7994 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a complaint about an existing licensed premises or a premises suspected of operating without a licence please contact the Council's Licensing team.
- Pet Care Trust (PCT)
- Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
- National Associates of Registered Pet Sitters
- Pet Owners Association
- Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963(pdf, 92KB)
- Licensing Conditions for Cat Boarding Establishments(pdf, 64KB)
- Licensing Conditions for Dog Boarding Establishments(pdf, 67KB)
- Licensing Conditions for Domestic Dog Boarders(pdf, 79KB)
- List of Animal Boarding Establishments
Contact the Licensing Team
If you have any questions or comments please contact Licensing
44 York Street
Telephone: 020 8831 6455
Fax: 020 8891 7713