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Licence summary

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.

This is an annual registration, which must be renewed after 12 months if you wish to continue to operate as an animal boarding establishment. The same form can be used for new and renewal applications.

Eligibility criteria

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

Regulation/legislation summary

A summary of the eligibility criteria for this licence

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.


Apply for a new animal boarding establishment licence or renew or amend an existing licence. 

Failed application redress

Richmond Magistrates Court has now closed, and applications for appeals should be made to Lavender Hill Magistrates Court, 176a Lavender Hill, London SW11 1JU.

The telephone number for the Court is 020 7805 1445.

Consumer complaint

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.

Other redress

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 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.

Trade associations

Relevant Pages

  • Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963
  • Licensing Conditions for Cat Boarding Establishments
  • Licensing Conditions for Dog Boarding Establishments
  • Licensing Conditions for Domestic Dog Boarders

Contact the Licensing Team

If you have any questions or comments please contact Licensing


2nd Floor
Civic Centre
44 York Street


Updated: 20 April 2020