Dog Sitters,  Lead

Kirklees dog boarders warn fees hike could lead to unlicensed activity

Dog boarders in Kirklees, West Yorkshire, have warned that the council’s decision to increase licence fees by almost 500% could lead to a rise in unlicensed operators who may benefit from offering lower prices to customers.

Describing the decision as “absolute madness”, Julie Broderick, who owns the Take the Lead Pet Services boarding company in Huddersfield, told The Canine Times (TCT) the move “penalises those of us who have followed the rules and are licensed rather than penalising those operating illegally”.

She added: “[I] cannot understand how they justify charging the same huge fees for businesses like mine and boarding kennels who have many more dogs staying.

“It will also of course deter people from obtaining a licence thereby undermining standards of care and safety.”

Meanwhile, Kate Millington who also owns a dog boarding business in the area told TCT the increase could mean she may have to close down the company.

She said: “I only set up last year and was issued [with] a two-year licence due to me being new.

“I split my time and do boarding and grooming. I also try to have a week free each month so my husband and I can do things away from home.

“This all means it would take a considerable length of time to recoup the cost of the licence fee and insurance. I board on a 1:1 basis and charge £28 a night.

“I just don’t think it’ll be worth it.”

She said she was considering her options, while also drafting a letter to the council.

She added: “I’m just so worried that people will go into it without the proper training, experience, safety regulations etc.

“I think as a result of this there will be more people operating without a licence putting animals at risk.”

TCT contacted Kirklees District Council for a comment but had not received a response at the time of publication.

Are you affected by the licence fee increase? Do you live in another area where licence fees have also increased? Let us know by emailing

One Comment

  • Charlotte Kasner, MA, AdipCBM, AdipFBM, KPA-CTP, ABTC-AT,MISAP

    The hike in fees is high, but the principals behind it are sound. There is already a great deal of unlicensed activity and undercutting will always exist. Qualified, expereiced professionals factor this into their pricing and marketing.

    It seems as if there is a lack of communication between this council and local service providers but, as with all legislaiton, it is important that it is policed.

    Councils need to set prices at a realistic level to take into account their own costs and resources and ensure that this is not just a money-grabbing exercise that becomes a tax on the responsible.

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