Tighter leash on ‘doggy day care’ centres

'Doggy daycare' businesses are being warned they need a licence
'Doggy daycare' businesses are being warned they need a licence
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Licensing chiefs are set to tighten up controls around animal welfare in Blackpool amid concerns some operators may be running businesses illegally.

The growing popularity of ‘doggy day care’ has prompted council officers to warn a licence is required by businesses looking after pets during the day.

Sharon Davies, head of licensing services at Blackpool Council, said: “There are dog walkers who just take a dog for a walk and then return it straight back to the owner and that does not require a licence.

“But if you take the dog to someone’s house or place of business and then they look after it as part of a ‘doggy daycare’ business, that is classed as animal boarding and does require a licence.”

This means premises will be regularly inspected by the council and must comply with strict conditions in relation to issues such as feeding, cleanliness and disease control.

There is also a limit on how many pets can be kept at the premises.

Blackpool Council’s licensing committee is currently reviewing its policies on animal boarding.

A fresh set of licensing conditions for both cat and dog boarding establishments is set to be agreed in time for existing licences to be renewed at the end of the year.

Ms Davies added: “There has been an expansion recently in this kind of animal day care, and sometimes the operator does not comply because they do not realise they need a licence.

“But there are a lot of issues to consider, for example is the premises big enough for the number of dogs being cared for, noise consideration and ensuring the dogs are being fed and watered properly.

“If a premises is not licensed, it is also likely it is not insured.

“These are all concerns for owners, and for some people their dogs are like their children, so if they have trusted their pet to any kind of day care, they want to know it is being looked after properly.”

Animal boarding establishments are licensed under the Animal Boarding Establishment Act 1963. Anyone who wants clarification is urged to contact the council’s licensing department.