At a Court hearing at Northampton Magistrates Court on Tuesday 22 January 2019, Ms Rebecca Etheridge of Balfour Street, Kettering pleaded guilty to two offences under the Animal Boarding Establishment Act 1963.
Ms Etheridge was fined £150 for the first offence, £250 for the second offence, and was also ordered to pay a Victim Surcharge of £30 and costs of £318.44. Ms Etheridge was also disqualified from boarding animals for a period of 3 months.
Ms Etheridge was licensed for the home boarding of dogs at her home address by Kettering Borough Council. The Council had already investigated a complaint at the property following an incident involving two dogs in March 2018. In July 2018 council officers visiting the premises for a routine licence inspection found six dogs being boarded at the premises, despite the premises’ licence being restricted to a maximum of four.
In September 2018 during a further routine visit a two year old child was found in the licensed part of the house, even though the licence prohibited anyone under the age of five being in the premises whilst dogs were boarding. Ms Etheridge had already been warned about having the child at the premises during a previous visit.
Shirley Plenderleith, Head of Public Services at Kettering Borough Council, said
“Kettering Borough Council issues licences for various animal related premises. The reason for these licences is to ensure high animal welfare standards. People purchasing animals or, as in this case, boarding animals, expect their pets to be properly looked after in accordance with relevant legal requirements and good welfare practice. Where we find these standards being blatantly disregarded we will take appropriate action as in this case. We were pleased to see that the courts recognised the seriousness of these offences and disqualified Ms. Etheridge as well as imposing the fines”.