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Boarding animals

In order to run an animal boarding establishment (catteries and kennels), you must apply for a licence.

You cannot get a licence if you are disqualified under any of the following acts:

  • The Animal Boarding Establishment Act 1963
  • The Pet Animals Act 1951
  • The Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954
  • The Protection of Animals (Cruelty to Dogs) (Scotland) Act 1934 

How to apply

If you would like to apply for an animal boarding establishment licence you should fill in an animal boarding licence application form (PDF/83KB/2 pages).

Return the application form and the relevant documents to the licensing group, along with the correct fee:

  • animal boarding establishment (grant): £216.53
  • animal boarding establishment (renewal): £197.39

You will also have to pay the cost of inspections carried out by our authorised veterinary surgeon or practitioner.

Existing holders of an animal boarding establishment licence will be forwarded the relevant application forms approximately one month prior to the renewal date.

Before the licence is issued, we must be satisfied that the following conditions are met:

A licence may also contain special conditions that only apply to your premises.


If you disagree with our decision to refuse a licence or with any conditions you can appeal to the Magistrates' Court. The court will make a decision on your appeal.

Offences and penalties

If you are found guilty of keeping an animal boarding establishment without a licence, or without meeting the licence conditions, you may be fined up to £500, given three months in prison, or both.

If you are found guilty of obstructing or delaying an authorised licensing officer, or authorised veterinary surgeon or practitioner in the exercising of their powers of entry you may be fined up to £500.

If you are found guilty your licence may be cancelled and you could be disqualified from keeping an animal boarding establishment for as long as the court thinks fit.

Further information is available in The Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963.