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Warning of unlicensed animal boarders
Dog owners could be putting their pet pooches at risk by leaving them with unlicensed animal boarders.
By law, anyone offering to care for an animal from their home in exchange for payment must be licensed.
Hertsmere Borough Council is warning anyone thinking of using a home boarding service for their pet when they go away to check the person running the business is licensed to do so.
Councillor Jean Heywood, portfolio holder for the environment and transport, said: "It might sound like a great idea, leaving your dog with someone who can care for it in their own home, but would you pay to leave your child with a child-minder, who was not authorised and registered?"
As part of the licensing process, council officers make sure animals are kept in suitable accommodation and have access to enough food, drink and bedding.
They also ensure provisions have been made incase of emergencies, and that all animals staying there are registered.
Without a valid licence, their insurance may be at risk, possibly leading to an expensive bill for the dog owner if there is an incident.
If the animal boarder is part of a bigger business, they still need an individual licence.
Applying for an animal boarding licence costs £50 and can be obtained through the council.
Trading without a licence is against the law, and could result in a fine of up to £500, and/or a three-month prison term.
For more information call the licensing department on 0208 207 7435 or visit http://www.hertsmere.gov.uk/Business/Licensing/Animal-Licensing/Animal-boarding-licence.aspx