Animal boarding establishments

You need a licence to run a boarding kennel or cattery.  The number of dogs and cats that can be accommodated, along with any other conditions, will be specified on the licence.

Public register

There is no legal requirement to keep a register. Please contact us if you want to know whether a premises is licensed. 

Eligibility criteria

At the time of the application, you must not be disqualified from any of the following:

  • 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

When processing your application, we will consider the following:

  • 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.
  • Suitable food, drink and bedding will be provided and that the animals are exercised and visited regularly
  • That steps are taken to prevent and control the spread of disease and that isolation facilities are in place
  • That adequate protection is provided in case of fire and other emergencies
  • A register is kept containing:
    • Description of all animals received
    • Arrival and departure date
    • Name and address of owner

This register should be available to be inspected at any time by a local authority officer, veterinary surgeon or practitioner.

Application process

An application fee must be paid when you make your online application. 

We will confirm that we have received both your application and fee and arrange to carry out an inspection of your premises (if applicable).

How long will my application take?

We aim to determine applications within 28 days from receipt of a completed application, including payment.

Licence expiry

Licences expire on December 31 and must be renewed each year before that date.

Will Tacit Consent apply?

No. It is in the public interest that we must process your application before we can grant a licence. Please contact us if you have not heard from us within a reasonable period.

Licence conditions

Change of circumstances

You must tell us if there any change in circumstances.  This includes surrendering a licence or any other changes.  There is a fee due in respect of any change that requires a new licence to be issued.

What happens if you fail to comply? 

If you do not have a licence or do not comply with any of the conditions you could be fined up to £5000, imprisoned for up to three months or both.

Failed application and licence holder redress

Please contact us in the first instance. If you are refused a licence or wish to appeal against a condition attached to your licence, you can appeal to Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court.


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