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Boarding of Dogs and Cats

To run a boarding kennel or cattery, 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.

On payment of an annual licence fee, detailed in the Council's Fees and Charges list, we inspect and issue an annual licence for certain types of premises where animals are kept. You can download an animal boarding application form [PDF 37.5KB] to complete and return with the fee or you can apply online (see below).

If the application is withdrawn by the applicant after submission, a non-returnable minimum charge of £20 will be made to recover administration costs. This will increase to £50 if a site visit has been made.

An applicant must not be disqualified from any of the following at the time of the application:

  • 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 Summary

A summary of the regulations relating to 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 a reasonable period, please contact it. You can do this online if you applied through the UK Welcomes service or use the contact details below.

Apply Online

Apply to run an animal boarding establishment or download an animal boarding application form [PDF 37.5KB]

Tell us about a change to your existing circumstances

Renew your licence to run an animal boarding licence

Failed Application Redress

Please contact your Local Authority in the first instance.

Any applicant who is refused a licence can appeal to their local Magistrates' court.

Licence Holder Redress

Please contact your Local Authority in the first instance.

Any licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition attached to their licence can appeal to their local Magistrates' court.

Consumer Complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Consumer Direct will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Contact details

Environmental Health
Merlin House
Merlin Way
Ilkeston
DE7 4RA

Tel: 0115 907 2244 ext 3820
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Trade Associations

Pet Care Trust (PCT)

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons