Animal Boarding Establishments

Licence Summary

Premises in Darlington, which are used as a business providing accommodation for other peoples animals, will require a licence issued by Darlington Borough Council.   For the purposes of the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963, the term 'animal' applies only to dogs and cats and the term business could include a private dwelling.

Darlington Borough Council has adopted Model Conditions relating to the construction of new premises and also regarding the conversion of any existing building.

Eligibility Criteria 

An applicant must not be disqualified from any of the following at the time of making 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

Regulation Summary

Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963 [external link]

Model Licence Conditions and Guidance for Dog Boarding Establishments [external link]

Model Licence Conditions and Guidance for Cat Boarding Establishments [external link]

Application Evaluation Process

Before the licence can be granted, the premises will be inspected by an authorised veterinary surgeon and a further inspection will be carried out every three years after that. The costs for these inspections can vary and are payable by the applicant.

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 a local authority officer, veterinary surgeon or practitioner


A fee of £120 will be payable for applications and conditions may be attached.

Will Tacit Consent Apply?

Yes. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from us after 28 days.

How to Apply

We aim to acknowledge your application within three working days. If you have applied online we will acknowledge your application via email.

You have the option of applying online or by downloading an application form.

Online Application

Apply to run an animal boarding establishment [external link]

Renew your licence to run an animal boarding establishment [external link]

Application to change an animal boarding establishment licence [external link]

Download an Application Form

If you would prefer to download an application form, please download the document below and return it to us using the contact details below.

Animal Boarding Application Form [word document]

Failed Application Redress

Please contact us in the first instance using the contact details below.

Any applicant who is refused a licence can appeal to their local Magistrates Court [external link]

Licence Holder Redress

Please contact us in the first instance using the contact details below.

Any licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition attached to their licence can appeal to their local Magistrates Court [external link]

Consumer Complaint

We would always advise that in the event of complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, will give you advice.

From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre [external link].

Trade Associations 

Pet Care Trust [external link]
Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons [external link]