People who are paid to look after dogs in their own homes while the pet’s owners are away will need to be licensed by the council from 1st April.
Since 1963, commercial boarding kennels and catteries in the United Kingdom have been legally required to hold a licence to look after people’s dogs and cats whilst the owners go on holiday. An alternative to this kind of accommodation, known as ‘Home Boarding’ or ‘Pet Sitting’, has become nationally popular over the last few years.
Specialised businesses often arrange for pet dogs to be placed with a host family who look after the animal while the owners are away. Host families will be inspected prior to the dog being placed in the home by the business agent for the area, who ensures that special conditions for boarding are met.
However, the council would still like to know about home boarders who work independently, who may not know about the new licence requirement. The council believes that, in legal terms, there is little difference between the service that a commercial kennels provides and what home boarders offer to dog owners and that people acting as hosts for ‘home boarding’ will therefore be required to have a licence to operate as such, from 1st April.
Licences will be granted by the council’s Environmental Health department and will be issued along with a list of conditions under which each licence holder must operate.
Each licence will last for 12 months for a reduced fee of £65 for a home boarding licence. Commercial establishments are currently required to pay £100.
The council’s cabinet member for clean and green issues, Cllr Nora Armstrong, said: “It is not intended that friends and relatives looking after a dog for a few hours as a favour will be required to have a licence. However, if you are regularly looking after someone else’s dog in return for payment, you may have to have a licence in future.”
For further details concerning obtaining a licence to board dogs at your home visit the councils website at www.newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk/animallicensing or telephone 01636 650000.