Fylde residents and business owners are reminded of the importance of animal welfare licensing after a recent court case saw an unlicensed dog boarding operator receive sentencing. 

One of the responsibilities of Fylde Council’s Environmental Health team is to promote and protect the welfare of animals in pet shops, animal boarding facilities, and in the hiring of services such as horse riding. Standards and welfare are maintained through inspection of premises and the investigation of complaints. 

Our Environmental Health team are always happy to provide expert advice to business owners on the type of license they need and how to obtain it. Residents wishing to know whether an operator is licensed to provide a service can also search the online register on the Fylde Council website. 

When an operator is unlicensed, the quality and safety of their services cannot be assured, and animal welfare can be at risk. In a tragic example from 2022, a shih tzu dog suffered fatal injuries while boarding with an unlicensed provider in St Annes. The man offering the service, Simon Thistlethwaite, had previously been informed by Fylde Council of the need to obtain a license to board dogs, but no application was made. 

Simon Thistlethwaite would later plead guilty to offences relating to unnecessary suffering, ensuring needs and licensing offences under the Animal Welfare Act at Preston Magistrate Court. He received a sentence of 6 months imprisonment suspended for two years, a Community Order of 200 hours community service, significant financial penalties, and was disqualified from keeping animals for 10 years, with no ability to apply for the order to be lifted for 5 years. 

Cllr Chris Dixon, Lead Member for Social Wellbeing, said: “Our primary goal as an animal welfare licensing body is the prevention of such tragic and entirely avoidable incidents. Applying for a license may sound like a daunting task, but our Licensing Team are here to help every step of the way to make sure our residents have reassurances over the premises and owners they entrust their beloved pets with.” 

If you are considering setting up a business to board dogs and/or cats, including day care, contact the Fylde Council Environmental Health team at listening@fylde.gov.uk for help and support in obtaining the correct licenses. Application forms can be easily downloaded from the Fylde Council website or by visiting the Town Hall in St Annes. 

Residents wishing to know whether an operator is licensed to provide care can contact the Licensing Team at listening@fylde.gov.uk or search the online register on the Fylde Council website. 


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