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District Dispatch - 18 July 2023

I'm sure that many of you across the district will soon be heading off on your summer holidays, and you may have a pet that needs looking after while you're away.

Councillor Jonathan Brown, Deputy Leader Chichester District Council and Cabinet Member for Environmental Strategy

If you have dogs or cats, then you may be considering whether to pay someone to look after them while you are on holiday. If this applies to you, please make sure that you choose a licensed and reputable provider.

We have many excellent animal businesses in the district which provide outstanding care and services. However, sadly, we do come across businesses who do not care for animals to the legal standards, and ones that profit from illegal dog breeding. This is something we want to tackle in the district. The best way of combatting this is by using licensed businesses.

If you're paying for your dog or cat to stay overnight or longer, at a kennel, cattery, or with a home boarder, then the person providing the service must be licensed. If you pay for them to stay somewhere away from your home for the day - perhaps while you're at work - then this is day care, which is also licensable. By using licensed premises, you can have the peace of mind that it has been inspected by our Environmental Protection Team to check that all legal welfare standards are met. It's also worth pointing out that pet sitters, who come to your own home to look after your pets, do not need a licence.

When you visit dog day care premises or kennels, please look to see if their licence is displayed. Our Environmental Protection Team encourage businesses to have these on display for customers. You shouldn't really have to ask, but if you can't easily see the licence, then we would encourage you to ask to see it before leaving your animal.

If you are planning on using day care, home boarding or kennels please check our current animal licence register on our animal licences webpage to ensure that the provider you are planning to use is listed.  If you aren't sure, please give our Environmental Protection Team a call on 01243 534598 or email and our officers will be happy to check for you and provide you with peace of mind. If you are worried that a business is not licensed, then please report this through our online reporting alleged unlicensed premises form and the team will investigate this for you.

If you employ someone as a dog walker, you may be interested to know that this service is not currently covered by licensing. In these cases, we would encourage you to make a few checks, and find out what kind of experience they will be providing for your animal. Again, you should feel completely happy before you make a booking. It's worth finding out how many other dogs they will have with them when they walk yours. It's also a good idea to check whether they will be on or off lead and where they will be walking your dog. You should also expect them to ask you a few questions about your dog too - mainly around what its recall is like and how it behaves with other dogs. If they ask you questions like these, then you will know that the walker is considering your animal and anything that could impact on its wellbeing.

Our pets are often treated like a member of the family, and we want to know that they are receiving the best possible care while we are away. By taking the steps mentioned above, you will know you have done everything you can to make sure that they are well looked after and be able to go away and enjoy your well-deserved break.

To find out more about animal licences, please visit our animal licences page.

Best Wishes

Cllr Jonathan Brown

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environmental Strategy at Chichester District Council