Rochford District Council have been made aware of a number of incidences of people setting up businesses to look after people’s pets whilst they are either shielding, at work or on holiday.
During the lockdown restrictions, a number of people have started to work from home, which has resulted in the Rochford District Council Licensing team seeing an increase in new applicants wishing to home board dogs or offer a day care facility.
All licenced boarding establishments must comply with Regulation standards which outline the criteria that everyone boarding or providing day care must provide.
Rochford District Council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Governance Cllr Cheryl Roe said: “You wouldn’t let anyone drive your family about without a licence, even though they own a car and have insurance, it is the same for animals under the regulations.
“They may have a good venue, they may have insurance, but without the licence, they cannot legally operate and could be putting the welfare of your animal at risk.
“As part of the licensing requirements, all boarders and providers of day care must hold formal qualifications, have procedures in place for the welfare of the animal and must meet the strict criteria set by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
“Only those licensed and inspected by that authority are insured to look after your animal. Anything that happens to your animal whilst with an unlicensed provider is at your own risk and could result in ongoing care needs if the animal is not cared for properly.
“It’s important to ensure that home-boarding and day care services are responsible and fully regulated when caring for animals. I would urge anyone who is unsure to contact our licensing team, who will be more than happy to offer guidance and advice.”
To check whether a provider is licensed with a local authority, all councils must publish a list of licensed providers. You can find the details of those licensed with Rochford via www.rochford.gov.uk/animalreg