South Oxfordshire District Council has successfully prosecuted the owner of a boarding kennels in Cane End, following a number of complaints from pet owners including one about the death of a dog.
Simon Herbert, aged 50, of Cane End, Reading, pleaded guilty to running an unlicensed animal boarding establishment at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (1/5) and was fined £300 with a contribution to costs of £700 and a victim surcharge of £30. Mr Herbert of Simon’s Pet Services was first licensed by South Oxfordshire District Council to board dogs in 2012. During 2016 the council investigated four complaints from dog owners whose dogs had boarded at Simon’s Pets Services.
The complaints related to the death of a dog, the escape of two dogs from the premises, and the physical and emotional care of a puppy.
Investigation of the complaints subsequently identified several breaches of the licence conditions.
Simon Herbert applied to renew his animal boarding licence in early January 2017, but in the light of the concerns identified in 2016, the council was satisfied that it would not be appropriate to renew the licence. Mr Herbert was informed of the grounds for refusal and told how he could appeal the decision at Magistrates’ Court, but he failed to do so.
In September 2017, the council was contacted by a dog owner whose dog had boarded at Simon’s Pet Services during August and September 2017. Simon Herbert later admitted to the council that although he was aware that he needed a licence to board dogs overnight, he had cared for between four and six dogs overnight since the council had refused his licence in January 2017.
Cllr Caroline Newton, cabinet member for Housing and Environment at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “Anybody looking after animals has a legal and moral duty to provide a decent level of care. I hope this case will act as a warning that we aren’t just here to process licence applications – we will prosecute anybody who doesn’t maintain the levels of care expected by the council and by the pets’ owners.”
Anyone who runs a business providing accommodation for other people’s cats and dogs is required to have a licence under the Animal Boarding Establishment Act 1963.