A couple who run boarding kennels have been heavily fined after a dog fell off the back of their van – and the subsequent investigation showed they did not have a licence to operate their business.

The pet called Marmite was being cared for by Muddy Paws Huddersfield Pet Services based in Moorside Road, Honley, when the incident happened.

The case came to light following a complaint from the Marmite’s owners who had put their pet into the care of Muddy Paws owners Jill and Darren Crowther while they were away on holiday in September 2016.

Marmite had to be rescued by a passerby after falling out of the back of a van driven by Mrs Crowther in Meltham Road, Honley. At the time Mrs Crowther was unaware that Marmite had fallen from the van, so carried on driving.

The couple appeared before Huddersfield Magistrates Court where Mrs Crowther pleaded guilty to operating a dog home boarding establishment without a licence and transporting a dog in a way which is likely to cause it injury or unnecessary suffering. Mr Crowther also pleaded guilty to operating a dog home boarding establishment without a licence.

The couple were fined £700 and ordered to pay £1,246 costs and £70 victim surcharge, totalling £2,016.

Clr Naheed Mather, Cabinet member for enforcement management, said: “Mr and Mrs Crowther have knowingly operated a dog home boarding business without a licence despite the fact that they were made aware on several occasions that a licence was required for such an activity.

“The law requires anyone who operates a business of providing accommodation for other people’s dogs to hold and display a licence granted by the local authority.

“This includes holiday care, overnight stays or doggy day-care, whether on an individual basis or under a franchise.

“Pet owners looking to board their pet need to ensure the establishment is licenced as this will ensure the safety and welfare of their pet is maintained at all times.”