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Licence - boarding animals in Christchurch and East Dorset

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Find out if you need a licence to operate a commercial or home boarding establishment

Do I need a licence to operate?

If you wish to operate a commercial boarding establishment for either dogs or cats, then you must apply for a licence. The licence will specify the maximum number of animals it is permitted to board on the premises.

If you wish to board dogs in a domestic premises - referred to as home boarding, then you will also require a licence.  It is only permitted to board dogs from the same family and the maximum number of dogs the premises is allowed to board at any one time (never more than three) will be specified on the licence.

All licences expire on 31 December and are renewable on an annual basis.

Regulations summary

Regulations concerning boarding establishments and eligibility criteria can be found in the  Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963 (opens in a new window)

How do I apply?

Online:

You can make an online application for a licence by visiting  GOV.UK (opens in a new window) and entering the postcode of your premises.

You can also use  GOV.UK (opens in a new window) to renew or make changes to your existing licence.

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By post:

Commercial boarding

To apply for a commercial boarding licence please complete an application form (below) and send to the appropriate council together with the fee of £70

An officer will then inspect the premises to determine whether or not it complies with the council's licence conditions for kennels or catteries.

The current conditions can be downloaded below:

If it is considered necessary for a vet to accompany the officer then any fees charged by the vet will need to be paid by the applicant.

Home Boarding

To apply for a home boarding licence, please complete an application form (below) and return to appropriate council together with the licence fee of £70

An officer will then inspect the premises to determine whether or not it complies with the council's licence conditions for home boarding.

The current conditions can be downloaded below:

If it is considered necessary for a vet to accompany the officer then any fees charged by the vet will need to be paid by the applicant.

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 us using the details below.

What can I do if my application is refused?

Please contact your local authority in the first instance. Any applicant who is refused a licence can appeal to their local Magistrates court.

How do I make a customer complaint?

In the event of a complaint the first contact should be made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked and if you are located in the UK, Consumer Direct (opens in a new window) will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre link (opens in a new window)

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