Woman hit with fine for running illegal kennels

Preston Magistrates Court
Preston Magistrates Court

A woman has been fined for running an illegal pet kennel from a house.

Stevie Todd, of Poets Nook, Leigh, kept dogs at a property in Buckshaw Village, Preston, without a licence.

South Ribble Borough Council prosecuted the 26-year-old under the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963, which aims to maintain high standards to keep pets safe and healthy while they are boarded.

Coun Jacqui Mort, the council’s cabinet member for public health, said: “This case is a reminder that not everyone follows the rules where boarding licensing is concerned and we would encourage anyone who is considering using boarding kennels or catteries to ask the owners for proof of a current licence for their own peace of mind.”

At the time of the offence, Todd was living at a property in Anderton Crescent, Buckshaw Village.

As a result of complaints made to the council that the property was being used as a dog boarding establishment without a licence, the matter was investigated.

The council wrote to Todd asking her to complete a licence application pack and then sent a further letter with a final warning to halt the business.

Nevertheless, Todd did not complete the application form and advised the council that she would close the business down and would only operate a dog-grooming business afterwards.

Todd said she would put this in writing, but the council did not receive a letter and the officers returned to the property in September.

Todd told them the business had ceased but officers were unable to confirm this as they were not invited into the property.

Further information came to light in October and the council received evidence that two pet owners had paid £10 per day to board the dogs at the property in October.

Todd was charged with keeping the property as a boarding establishment for dogs without the authority of a licence.

At Preston Magistrates’ Court she was found guilty in her absence, fined £250 and ordered to pay £150 costs to the council and a £30 victim surcharge, with a 28-day collection order.

Coun Mort added: “The council grants boarding licences and regulates the use of them as a way of ensuring that all pets boarding have suitable food, drink, bedding, exercise and supervision.

“Operating without a licence potentially creates a risk to those pets and it underlines the importance of checking that your boarder has a licence.”