Kennels and Catteries – what can go wrong?

Sharon Tidnam thought that the world had gone barking mad when she was ordered by the court to reduce the noise of the dogs in her care at Low Farm in Topcroft.

Despite the warning, in July 2018, she was found guilty of breaking the order and was ordered to pay £93,000 in legal costs after her barrister neighbour took her to court. On top of this, she was ordered to pay the victim £3,000 in compensation for moving costs; she believed the sentence to be “horrendous”.

Sharon and her husband claimed to have spent £130,000 fighting the claim and were given just three months to find the rest of the funds. The victim, Mr McNiff, said that the barking dogs disturbed his peace and quiet, sometimes at unsociable hours. Despite recordings taken by the council not finding evidence of noise nuisance, the court took his side.

Prior to this, in 2016, a cattery in Tunbridge Wells fell subject to legal action after losing a customer’s cat when it jumped out of an open window. The company sent a compensation cheque through the post to the distressed cat owners, but this was rejected. In 2018, a similar incident occurred in a dog kennels when a dog owner’s beloved husky cross was lost during her stay at kennels in Eaglesham. The owner believes that the kennel owner failed to adequately secure the premises and threatened legal actions.

It’s not only boarding kennels that face legal action either. In 2014, an Essex-based rescue dog sanctuary risked closure after a volunteer worker was bitten by an abandoned stray. They were required to pay £30,000 compensation to the victim.

Needless to say, there’s plenty that can go wrong when running accommodation for animals. From allegations of malpractice to staff injuries and animals getting sick or injured while under your care, without the right protection in place you could get caught out having to foot legal bills that you cannot afford. To ensure you are covered, your business will likely benefit from dedicated animal boarding insurance.

Find out more about pet boarding insurance here.