The future of a successful doggy day care centre has been plunged into doubt after the council slapped them with a noise abatement notice following complaints about barking.  

Hannah Warren, who runs Pooches Retreat, on Nightingales Lane, with her sister Rebecca, said they are “devastated” that Chiltern District Council has handed them the notice – and they are now looking at moving their thriving business elsewhere.   

The pair set up the day care and grooming spa 18 months ago and have around 100 dogs on their books but now fear they could be forced to shut down completely.

Hannah said the business has been left in a “difficult position” – but promised they would be fighting the notice.

She said: “We are not giving up, we’re looking for new premises elsewhere. It is terrible news for us – we provide a service for The Chalfonts and all the surrounding towns and villages.

“We have had so much support from our customers, it has really been overwhelming – we really appreciate the support.”

Viv Hobbs, who takes her dog to the day care centre while she goes to work, said the way the owners have been treated is “disgusting”.

She said: “The girls do such a good job and there are a lot of people like me who rely on them. If they close down, I may have to give up my job. I can’t believe something like this could happen.”

A spokesman for Chiltern District Council said “several” complaints from nearby residents have been received and an investigation was launched.

She said: “The abatement notice does not require the business to leave the premises, only to reduce the noise of the barking dogs so that they no longer cause a statutory nuisance.

“The matter was discussed with the business owners as part of the investigation and all parties involved were written to about the complaints. We explained that if a statutory nuisance was established, the council would have no choice but to serve an abatement notice.

“We hope that the matter can be resolved satisfactorily for all parties involved. If the business owners require any further help or advice we would ask them to contact the Council’s Environmental Health Officer dealing with the matter.”