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Animal boarding establishments licence

To run a boarding kennel or cattery in County Durham you must first get a licence from us.

The need for a licence is a requirement of Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963.

We offer three types of boarding licence:

Eligibility criteria

In order to apply, you must not be disqualified from keeping animals or from keeping an animal boarding establishment. 

You must meet the conditions of the licence. A full list of conditions is provided with your application form as well as with any issued licence. The number of dogs and cats you may accommodate will also be specified.

Planning permission may also be required, including for home boarding. We advise you to seek advice from our Planning service​.

If you are applying for a new licence, or wish to renew a current one, you must also provide us with the following items along with the application form and fee;

  • Site plan and layout of facilities
  • A valid Public Liability Insurance certificate with a minimum £5m cover
  • Relevant training and qualification certificates

An animal boarding establishments licence is valid for one year.

Applicable fees

The fee for an Animal Boarding Establishment Licence is £133. .  An additional boarding premises licence used in association with the primary licenced establishment costs £50. Re-issue of a licence due to material changes costs £20. If you are looking to renew your current licence, the fee is £130.


You can apply for an animal boarding licence online. Home boarding licences and day care licences can only be applied for by post.


Please click on the links below to apply, renew or change an animal boarding licence.

The target period for processing a correctly completed application online is 60 days from receipt.

By post

You can download and complete the forms below to apply by post. Please return your completed application to the address included in the form.

Home boarding

Day care

Premises inspection

Once you've submitted your application, we will make an appointment to inspect your premises. Providing we are satisfied that all conditions are met, your licence will be granted.

If you are refused a licence you can appeal to the Magistrates' Court.

If you have applied but not heard from us by the end of the target completion period you have the legal right to act as though your application has been granted. This is known as tacit consent.

Complaints and advice

If you require any further information or advice regarding your application, have concerns regarding a business that currently boards animals, or if you wish to submit a complaint, please contact us.

In partnership with

  • EUGO
Contact us
Animal health
03000 261 016
Our address is:
  • Environment, Health and Consumer Protect
  • Durham County Council
  • PO Box 617
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 9HZ
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