Animal Boarding Establishments


Under the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963, anyone wanting to board animals commercially or as a home boarder, must obtain a licence from their local council.
The Act requires councils to ensure that the business in question observes certain conditions regarding the suitability of the accommodation, including private dwellings provided and the welfare of the animals.

The local council has discretion whether to grant a licence and, before doing so, must satisfy itself that:

  • that animals will at all times be kept in accommodation suitable as respects construction, size of quarters, number of occupants, exercising facilities, temperature, lighting, ventilation and cleanliness;
  • that animals will be adequately supplied with suitable food, drink and bedding material, adequately exercised, and (so far as necessary) visited at suitable intervals;
  • that all reasonable precautions will be taken to prevent and control the spread among animals of infectious or contagious diseases, including the provision of adequate isolation facilities;
  • that appropriate steps will be taken for the protection of the animals in case of fire or other emergency;
  • that a register be kept containing a description of any animals received into the establishment, date of arrival and departure, and the name and address of the owner, such register to be available for inspection at all times by an officer of the local authority, veterinary surgeon or veterinary practitioner authorised under section 2(1) of this Act;

Animal Boarding Establishment Act 1963 defines the keeping of a boarding establishment for animals as "the carrying on at premises of any nature (including a private dwelling) of a business or providing accommodation for other people's animals. The term 'Animals' means any dog or cat."

Mid Sussex District Council are now enforcing legislation concerning the day boarding of dogs.

The Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963(the ‘Act’) requires establishments that board animals to be licensed. Traditionally these licences have in the main applied to kennels. However during the past few years we have seen a large growth in people wanting to board dogs in their own homes. Latterly, this has extended to day care/crèches for dogs.

The Act makes no distinction between these categories; but they do all come under the definition of 'boarding' and therefore need licensing. The Act allows the council to place conditions on such boarding licences. Conditions relation to a commercial kennels will not be appropriate for someone who is boarding 2 dogs at their home. Similarly a set of conditions for home boarding will not be appropriate for a Day Care Crèche which looks after 25 dogs.

We have therefore written separate conditions for kennels, home boarding and most recently Dog Day care.

Application Process

  1. Application form must be completed and returned with a Plan, Public Liability insurance relevant to your business and the relevant fee.
  2. Mid Sussex District Council Licensing officers will inspect the premises to be licensed. We reserve the right during any such inspection to be accompanied by a veterinary surgeon who will advise us and produce a report about the visit. Applicants should be aware that Mid Sussex District Council will not be responsible for any vet’s fees incurred. If a veterinary surgeon is deemed to be required to inspect the premises you will be separately invoiced for this visit.
  3. Our consideration of your application will take into account information from your application form including the plan, at least one site visit, adherence to the licence conditions and relevant matters from our discussions with you.
  4. Applicants should allow at least 28 days for a determination to be made.

Application forms and Conditions

Commercial Animal Boarding

Home Boarding

Day Care (Crèche) Boarding

Eligibility Criteria

Authorised Council Officers or Veterinary Surgeons inspect boarding establishments on a regular basis.

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

Will Tacit Consent Apply?

No. It is in the public interest that Mid Sussex must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within 14 days of your application please contact or phone 01444 477419.