Animal boarding establishment licence

Any person who wants to provide accommodation for other people’s dog or cats must obtain a licence from the local authority.  This includes:

  • home boarding;
  • dog day care;
  • kennels;
  • catteries.

The boarding of cats and/or dogs is regulated by the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) Regulations 2018 which came into force in October 2018.

Before booking a cat or dog into boarding accommodation it may be worthwhile to visit more than one establishment as some catteries and kennels may suit the needs or temperament of your cat or dog better than others.  Please view our public register to see the licensed animal boarding establishments in South Derbyshire.

  • How to Apply

    Any individual can apply for a licence if they can demonstrate that they are:

    • a fit and proper person;
    • not disqualified from holding a licence (in accordance with Regulation 11 and Schedule 8).

    You will need to submit the application fee at the same time as your application. For details of fees, please see the fees and charges page of our website.

    A plan and any required procedures/policies must be submitted with the application form.

    Once your licence has been granted, you will have to submit a licence fee before the licence is issued to you.

    If you are applying for more than one licensable activity at a time then there is an additional application fee to be paid on application.

    Tacit consent will not apply as it is in the public interest that the application is processed before it can be granted.

    We aim to process your application within 10 weeks of receiving a complete application.  If this target is not met then the application is not automatically granted.  This means that you can’t start running an animal boarding establishment until a licence has been issued.

  • What happens once I’ve submitted my application?

    Once we have received your application, we will contact you to arrange an inspection.

    During an inspection, we will check that you comply with the standard conditions and the conditions for each activity you have applied for:

    You will need to meet the requirements of all the minimum standards.

    The premises will be risk rated.

    The conditions require you to keep and maintain documents and records.

    There are also further optional conditions for higher standards.  The higher standards are shown in the activity specific conditions.

    In order to achieve the higher standard, you will have to demonstrate that you meet the required higher standards and at least 50% of the optional higher standards.

  • What is a risk rating?

    The risk rating, along with the inspection form, helps us to determine the star rating of the premises. This sets out how long the licence lasts for.

    The risk rating cover areas such as:

    All new business which do not have compliance history with a Local Authority or a member of a UKAS accredited scheme will be rated as high risk.

    • history of compliance
    • welfare standards, such as provision of enrichment equipment
    • management standards, including having a process to recording and acting on customer feedback.
  • What information will be provided with the licence?

    If a licence is issued, we will provide:

    How long will the licence last for?

    The licence can last for 1, 2 or 3 years depending on the outcome of the risk rating and the inspection.

    Licences granted for the first time will only last for 1 year (if the standard conditions are met) or 2 years (if the standard and higher standards are met).

  • How do I appeal my star rating?

    There is an appeals procedure in place for you to dispute the star rating given.

    An appeal must be made in writing within 21 days of the licence being issued.

    In the first instance, you are advised to discuss your concerns with the Inspecting Officer however please note that you still need to lodge your appeal within the 21 day period.

    Your appeal will be assessed and determined by the allocation Appeals Officer (not the same officer who carried out the inspection).  If you disagree with the outcome of the appeal you can challenge it by way of judicial review.

    If the appeal process involves another inspection and the outcome of the appeal does not result in a higher star rating being awarded, you will have to pay the fee for re-inspection.

  • I’d like to improve my star rating.  What do I need to do?

    If you accept the star rating you're awarded but make improvements to achieve higher standards you can apply for a re-inspection. There will be a fee for this. 

    To apply for a re-inspection, please complete the application (docx, 110kb) and return with the fee and any supporting documentation. 

    Once a re-inspection application has been accepted, an Officer will be in touch to arrange an inspection.

    Please note a full inspection will be carried out and the star rating can decrease as well as increase.

  • What if my licence is refused?

    The licence will be refused if:

    A licence cannot be issued to an applicant who is disqualified.

    There is a right of appeal to a First-tier Tribunal within 28 days of the decision notice.

    The new Regulations introduce a range of enforcement powers to allow us to issue a suspension, variation (docx, 109kb) or revocation notice where conditions are not being complied with i.e. there is a breach of the regulations or issues relating to the protection of the welfare of an animal.

    • the applicant can't meet the licence conditions;
    • the granting of a licence will have a negative impact on animal welfare;
    • the level of accommodation, staffing, or management is inadequate for the well-being of animals.
  • How do I vary my licence?

    If you wish to vary your licence, please complete the attached application form (pdf, 56kb) and submit to the Licensing Department along with the fee and any supporting documents.

    On receipt of an application, an Officer will be in contact to arrange an inspection.  A full inspection of the whole premises will be carried out to ensure compliance with the conditions and guidance.  The premises will be re-rated which can lead to a lower or higher rating being awarded. 

    After the inspection, a decision will be made as to whether a licence will be granted or not.

  • Arranger's licence

    An arranger licence is required by a business or company who arranges the boarding of animals with host families i.e. home boarding of dogs.  An application must be made to each Local Authority that the business or company has host facilities located in.

    The arranger’s licence (franchise holder) will be “star rated”, this will be dependent on the lowest rated licensable host families linked to the business/company. This will also determine the length of the licence.

    Some host families may be licensable and need a licence in their own right.  Other host families will fall out of scope therefore they will rely on the licence of the arranger to provide boarding in their home.  Each host family will be assessed to determine if they meet the business requirement therefore need to be licensed.

    To apply, the arranger must complete the general animal activity application form and provide any supporting documentation.  The fee payable can be found here.  On receipt of the application, an Officer will arrange an inspection of the arranger’s premises and any host families that do not need to be licensed to ensure that the conditions and guidance can be met.  If the conditions can be met, the arranger and host families will be star rated and a licence issued.

    Any host family meeting the business requirement will need to apply for a licence by completing the general animal activity application form.  The fee payable can be found here.  An officer will inspect the premises to determine if a licence can be issued, the star rating and the length of the licence.

    Arrangers and all host families will be subject to at least one unannounced inspection during the duration of their licence and further inspections/visits should complaints be received.

    To add a new host family on to an existing licence, please contact the Licensing Authority with full details of the proposed host.  An Officer will decide if they need their own licence.  If the host family is outside of scope then on receipt of a variation application form, an inspection will be carried out to ensure compliance and if approved an amended licence will be issued.  A fee is payable.