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Animal Boarding Establishment Licence

The keeping and running of animal boarding establishments (Catteries, Kennels and the boarding of dogs at home) is controlled by the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963. No person may keep a boarding establishment for animals without first obtaining a licence from their Local Authority.

The purpose of the licence is to ensure the health and welfare of the animals, their security, and the avoidance of nuisance to neighbours.

When is this licence required?

Anyone who looks after someone else's cat or dog other than at the owner's home needs a licence. This includes:

  • Catteries
  • Kennels
  • Anyone looking after dogs or cats in their home as part of a business.

A licence may be issued if the applicant is not disqualified under any of the following Acts:

Which animals require the licence?

The licence is required for the boarding of cats and dogs only.

How long does my licence last?

The licence is valid from 1 January to the 31 December.

Eligibility criteria

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 Animal Welfare Act 2006.

How much does it cost?

There is an application fee which must be paid at the time an application is made. The application fees normally changes annually so for this year's fee please view the fee information.

How can I apply?

Please download and complete the appropriate Word or PDF version of the application form first from the options below. Once done, submit your completed application form and other relevant documentation.


PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE LEGISLATION IS CHANGING - THESE DOCUMENTS WILL BE UPDATED BY THE END OF OCTOBER. Should you require urgent advice please contact 0300 555 2345 and ask to speak to an animal welfare officer.

How long will my application take to process?

We aim to process your application as soon as possible. We will confirm for all electronic applications via email that we have received your application. Please contact us if you have any queries about the process us.

Application 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.

Renewal of a licence

If you already hold a licence and it is due for renewal we will write to you informing you that the licence is due to be renewed asking you to complete a licence renewal form and submit payment.

This can be done by completing the by completing Application form for Animal Boarding Establishments, which is available at the bottom of this page.

The onus is however, on the person running the business to ensure they have a current licence at all times that they are operating.

Can I start trading before receiving my licence (i.e. will tacit consent apply)?

You cannot start trading until your application is processed by the Council and you have received a licence. It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within 21 days, please contact us.

Is there a public register available?

The legislation does not require a public register to be kept of Animal Boarding Establishments. However, we have published a register of all establishments who have permitted us to publish their details. If you would like to know if an Animal Boarding Establishment is licensed, please contact us.

How do I complain about a local business?

We will investigate complaints of poor animal welfare or conditions in a commercial business within the Borough.

If you have a general concern about the welfare of an animal, and want to complain about a business in Dudley Borough, please can use the Animal Welfare Advice and Complaints form.

Alternatively you can report the matter directly to the RSPCA.

What happens if you fail to comply?

If you do not have a licence or do not comply with any of the conditions, you may be prosecuted, fined up to £5000 and/or imprisoned for up to 3 months, or both.

What if I have been refused a licence or do not agree with the licence conditions imposed?

Any person aggrieved by a refusal to be granted a licence or by any conditions to which a licence is subject may appeal to the Magistrates Courts who may give such directions regarding the licence or its conditions as it thinks proper.

If I am not satisfied with the service I have received from the Council about a registration, how do I complaint?

If you feel we have failed to provide you with good service or are concerned about the progress of your application, please contact us and we will endeavour to resolve any concerns you may have. We also have a formal complaints procedure.

Regulation Summary

If you run a boarding kennel or cattery you must be licensed by your local authority. Before a licence is granted your premises will be inspected to make sure that certain conditions have been met. For further information, please see the following links:

Trade Associations

Further information

Copies of the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963 and other legislation mentioned in this information sheet can be purchased from the Office of Public Sector Information.

If you would like further advice about the standards or practices within a local business please use the Animal Welfare Advice and Complaints form.

Fee Information

Useful links

Contact Details

Environmental Safety and Health, People Directorate, 3-5 St James's Road, Dudley, DY1 1HZ

Telephone 0300 555 2345

Opening Hours Monday to Friday, 8.45 am to 5.00 pm, offices closed at weekends and Bank Holidays

Contact General Advice and Complaints Form