Animal Boarding (Cats and Dogs)

Licence Summary

Any person offering facilities for looking after cats or dogs away from their owners' home - requires a licence.  We charge licence fees in proportion to the potential number of animals to be boarded.  The number of dogs and cats that may be accommodated will be detailed on the licence, along with other specific conditions.

Licences have to be renewed every year, on the 1st January.  Please phone us to find out if there is a licensed boarder in your area or to make an application.

We apply conditions to all licences, based on national standards (The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health).

The conditions help to protect the welfare of animals by ensuring that any new establishments are built to a high standard, and that all businesses are well maintained and managed.

We make regular visits to all animal boarders in the district.  And we arrange veterinary inspection of all potential new premises at additional cost for the applicant.  

We may also require a veterinary inspection where obvious animal health or welfare problems are found to exist, or complaints about animal health are received.

Grant of a licence doesn't mean that we've given planning permission: consent under town and country planning law may still be required. Please contact our Planning Services on 01386 565565.


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
  • owning, keeping, dealing in or transporting animals under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006. In Scotland an applicant must also not be disqualified from working with, using, driving or riding animals, providing services to animals that would involve taking possession of them, taking possession of an animal to carry out any of the activities listed or taking charge of animals for any other purpose

A summary of the law about animal boarding licences


Fees will be payable for applications (read our current fees and charges) 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.

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 us within ten days, please contact us. You can do this online here if you applied through the UK Welcomes service or phone us on 01527 881395.


Online facilities are provided by the national "Business Link" website. 

Apply through Business Link for a licence to run an animal boarding establishment

Apply through Business Link to vary an existing animal boarding establishment licence

Apply through Business Link to renew your licence to run an animal boarding establishment

  Download an application form from our forms and fact sheets page.  Fill the form in, print and return it to us by post together with the appropriate fee (current fees and charges). 

Applicants can appeal to the Magistrates' Court if we refuse to grant an application, or where we apply unreasonable conditions.


Please contact us in the first instance.  Any licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition attached to their licence can appeal to South Worcestershire Magistrates' Court


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.


Anyone suffering nuisance due to noise, smells or similar because of a commercial premises should ask our Environmental Protection team for help (email phone 01386 565015).  


Pet Care Trust (PCT)

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons


Further Information

All Licensing and Environmental Health Matters are now dealt with by Worcestershire Regulatory Services.

For direct public enquiries and referrals:

General Customer Enquiries

Telephone: 01905 822799


Fax: 01905-617132

Worcestershire Regulatory Services