A bid to have regulatory controls on the home boarding of dogs in Fife relaxed has been rejected.
For years, Fife Council has specifically licensed home boarders which, unlike kennels and catteries, take other people’s dogs into their own homes for money.
Some companies organise the home boarding of dogs to multiple host premises, taking a fee from the dog’s owner and paying the “hosts” expenses.
Each host must pay an annual fee of £120 to Fife Council and agree to an annual inspection of the premises.
Dog sitting company Barking Mad asked Fife Council to introduce a principal home boarding licence, which would allow a business to operate across multiple properties.
However, officials turned down the request, saying they feared standards of care might suffer.
Environmental health public protection service manager Linda Turner said the proposal would have resulted in Fife Council having very little control over the quality of services provided.
“It is Fife Council’s opinion that regulation of home boarders would be weakened if Barking Mad’s proposals were accepted,” she said.
“This may also encourage others to set up in a similar model and further weaken confidence in the standards of care provided.
“Fife Council believe that it is our duty to inspect every boarder to ensure standards in all the premises that house other people’s pets.”
John Warburton, who runs the Fife franchise of Barking Mad, said the decision was “very disappointing”. He said the firm was simply trying to bring the rules into line with those already in force in England.
“We’re not asking for self-regulation as we would still need a licence and could be inspected by the council at any time – if anything this would be better than the current process which is only an annual inspection,” he said.
“It’s really frustrating and it’s a real shame as being part of the Barking Mad family is much more than simply looking after the doggies.
“We have a real community here who support one another and this decision is just going to make it even harder for us.”