Un-licensed 'dog hotel' owner fined £1500

15 August 2017

A Tarporley woman who ran an un-licensed dog hotel business from her home has been ordered to pay fines and costs of hundreds of pounds in a successful prosecution brought by Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Regulatory Services Team.

Gillian Dennett, 57, of Eaton Lane, Tarporley pleaded guilty to two offences in West Cheshire Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, 10 August 2017.
In promotional material for the ‘Happy Dog Hotel’ she stated that she was both licensed and insured, which was untrue, creating an offence under consumer protection legislation.

Also, under the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963, a licence from the Council is needed to operate a home boarding business or a day care facility for dogs.  Traders must apply for and be granted a licence before they can begin operating and the premises of all applicants are rigorously inspected by the Council before a licence is issued.

Dennett was fined £838, ordered to pay investigation costs of £522, legal costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £83 - a total of £1,528.
Despite initially contacting the Council in 2015 regarding a licence for her business, she continued to run her business without one.
In court Mrs Dennett explained that she mistakenly believed that her registration on the ‘Dog Buddy’ and ‘Tailster’ websites covered her licence and insurance obligations.  

The Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Karen Shore said: “This case sends out a clear message that the authority will not tolerate unlicensed businesses that potentially put animal welfare at risk.  We had no option other than to instigate prosecution proceedings.
“Licences are needed and conditions are attached to licences to ensure that animals are kept in safe and appropriate conditions; safe from the risk of infection or other harm.

“Registering a home dog boarding business with one of the many websites available does not provide the necessary licence or insurance needed.” There are currently 68 licensed home boarding businesses in Cheshire West and Chester – this does not include the many kennels and catteries not within a residential setting.

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