Environmental Health Licences

Animal Boarding Establishments

Licence Summary

To run a boarding kennel or cattery, you will need a licence from us.  These licences can only last for a maximum of one year and may run from 1st January until 31st December. 

The licence will show the number of dogs and cats allowed to be kept. The licence may have conditions attached to it. A council officer, veterinary surgeon or practitioner may inspect the licensed premises.

Please note for home boarding establishments that have children under the age of 5, the licence will not be granted.

Eligibility Criteria

  • To apply for a licence you must not be disqualified from any of the following at the time of the application:
  • keeping an animal boarding establishment under the Animal Boarding Establishment Act 1963
  • keeping a pet shop under the Pet Animals Act 1951
  • keeping animals under the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954
  • the Protection of Animals (Cruelty to Dogs) (Scotland) Act 1934
  • 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

Model Licence Conditions and Guidance

The local authorities in the Northants Licensing Partnership have all adopted the following CIEH Model Licence Conditions:

 CIEH Model Licence Conditions and Guidance for Cat Boarding Establishments 2015.

CIEH Model Licence Conditions and Guidance for Dog Boarding Establishments 2016.

Applicants should familiarise themselves with these model conditions as establishments requiring a licence will be expected to be compliant with all relevant conditions, these will be subject to local specifications as determined by your local authority inspector.

Microchipping of Dogs Regulations 2015
Under The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 all dogs over the age of 8 weeks in England must be fitted with a microchip. 
A register must be kept of all dogs boarded and available to key members of staff and to local authority inspectors if requested. Information in the register must include name, age, sex, description of dog/breed and microchip number. Where a dog has not been microchipped on health grounds, a copy of the confirmation of this from the dog’s vet must be kept on record

Regulation Summary

A summary of the eligibility criteria for this licence

Application Evaluation Process

Fees will be payable to East Northamptonshire Council and conditions may be attached to the licence.

The fee for Commercial and Domestic animal boarding is available in our fees and charges booklet. An application fee should be paid at the time of your application and you will also be required to pay all veterinary inspection fees, where required, before the licence is issued. You will need to comply with any conditions attached to the licence once issued.

The following points will be looked at when the application is being considered:

  • 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 council officer, veterinary surgeon or practitioner.

Does tacit consent apply if I do not hear anything within 28 days?

No. 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 a reasonable period, please contact us.

Apply Online

Apply to run an animal boarding establishment

Renew your licence to run an animal boarding licence

Apply by Post

Animal Boarding Licence

Failed Application Redress

Please contact  us in the first instance as we may be able to give you some advice.

Any applicant who is refused a licence can appeal to their local Magistrates' court within 21 days of the committee hearing date. Please see details below:

Northampton Magistrates Court
Regents Pavilion
Summerhouse Road
Moulton Park Northampton

Tel: 01604 497000  

Licence Holder Redress

Any licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition attached to their licence can appeal to their local Magistrates' court at the address above.

Consumer Complaint

If you are not satisfied with the service you should complain to the person who first dealt with the matter. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive at this stage you should then complain to the Head of Environmental Services giving details of your complaint.

You can take the complaint a step further by writing to the Executive Director who will arrange for it to be investigated. You should receive a reply within 10 days, but if the matter is complex, or other organisations need to be contacted, it may take longer. But we will still let you know what action is being taken. You should give all the details of your complaint and say what you have done to try to get it put right.


If you are still not happy after using our own complaints procedure you can complain to the Local government Ombudsman. A free booklet is available from all council offices.

Trade Associations

Pet Care Trust (PCT)

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

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