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Animal boarding establishments licence

The Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963 controls commercial kennels and catteries and home boarding establishments.



To run a boarding kennel or cattery, you need a licence from us.

The number of dogs and cats that may be accommodated will be specified on the licence along with other specific conditions.

The Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963 covers "premises of any nature", therefore private dwellings must also be licensed.

Cat boarding applications

DEFRA (Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs) and the Feline Advisory Bureau believe that the home boarding of cats should not be encouraged. We therefore, will only consider applications for the home boarding of dogs.


When an application is received, an officer from the Animal Control Service will inspect the proposed premises.

Where a licence is granted, that licence and any subsequent licence will expire on 31st December of the year to which it relates.

You can specify on your application whether you would like the licence to come into force at the beginning of the day on which it is granted or at the beginning of the next following year.



New application fee: £221 and is payable on application.

Licences must be renewed well before 31st December if the premises are to continue as an animal boarding establishment.

Renewal licence fee: £199. This is due before 31st December each year. Your licence will automatically be renewed subject to a satisfactory inspection report and there being no issues with the premises.

There is no difference in the licence fee whether you propose to run a commercial kennel or cattery or whether you propose to use your private dwelling to board dogs.


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 Animals Welfare Act 2006
  • owning, keeping, dealing in or transporting animals under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.


Apply for an animal boarding establishment licence

Apply for a new animal boarding establishment licence

Renew an existing animal boarding establishment licence

Pay by cheque (made payable to Sheffield City Council) through the post, or by cash and cheques at our reception (see contact us for our address).

Other ways to apply

Print and complete the application form and post or bring them to our reception (see contact us for our address).

New licence application form

Renewal application form


Application evaluation process

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 our officer, veterinary surgeon or practitioner.


Conditions will be attached if a licence is granted. There are different conditions for commercial premises and home boarders:

Home boarding




How we will notify you

Your application will not be automatically granted as it is in the public interest that your application is processed before it can be granted to ensure the health and wellbeing of animals and public policy.

If you have not heard from us within 14 days of your inspection, please contact us.



It is advisable to submit your application to us as soon as possible as your application could take up to two months to be administered.

Once your application is submitted, a copy is sent to our Animal Control and Enforcement section who will contact you to arrange to inspect your premises.

During busy times, for example at the end of the year when there are a large number of licence renewals, it is not guaranteed that an appointment will be made straight away. Therefore, the earlier your application is submitted, the more likely you are to have your licence issued for when your premises opens or when your previous licence expires.

If no problems are identified following the inspection of your premises, we aim to grant your licence within 14 days.



If your application is not successful and you wish to appeal, please contact us in the first instance.

Any applicant who is refused a licence can appeal to the local Magistrates' court.

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


Complaints and comments

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 you have any issues about such things as noise, pollution, etc, or should one licence holder wish to complain about another, please contact us in the first instance.


Useful websites

European Economic Area

We are a part of the European network for delivering information relating to doing business in the European Economic Area.

For full information on the EU Services Directive and Points of Single Contact for other member states, go to the European Commission website.

  • Modified: May 17, 2016 10:12:54 AM