While Territory Day is a day of fun and celebration, for most Top End dogs it can be the worst day of the year. The combination of loud noises and high-pitched squeals from fireworks is enough to terrify any dog, and potentially risk their safety.

City of Palmerston Mayor, Athina Pascoe-Bell explained the aim of Council this Territory Day is to return registered dogs to their owners, as quickly as possible and without penalty.

“Every year at this time, Council receives a large number of calls both from owners trying to track down their lost dogs, and residents reporting stray dogs, in the aftermath of cracker night. 

If you have lost your dog, or you have a frightened dog wander into your yard, please phone Council on 8935 9922 (also available for after-hours reports) to be put in touch with our Rangers. The quickest way to reunite dogs with their owners is to have Council collect stray animals,” she said.

Council Rangers will be working late to return registered dogs home as quickly as possible, provided there is someone there to receive them. Rangers won’t leave a dog alone, or without speaking with the owner and offering advice on securing their animal until the celebrations are over. 

Impounded unregistered dogs may be retrieved from the Council pound, after owners have paid their dog’s registration costs, and any other charges. Owners should ensure they pay registration and other charges at Council Civic Centre prior to arriving at the pound.

Details of all dogs collected by Council are described on our website, www.palmerston.nt.gov.au  

To help keep your dog safe during fireworks, here are some valuable tips from the experienced City of Palmerston Rangers:

  • Make sure your dog is registered and microchipped - in the event your dog does escape and is picked up by Council, make sure they can be easily identified by the Rangers. The best way to do this is ensure they're microchipped and registered, with a tag, so we can contact you as soon as possible. If your direct contact details are on your dog’s collar or tag – please check the number is correct. Microchipping is by far the best identifier. Please advise Council of your dog’s microchip number for our records.
  • Create a safe space - where possible, it's best to keep dogs in a confined room like a laundry or bathroom while fireworks are going off. The room should be safe and familiar, with enough toys to keep your dog occupied. If you're unable to keep your dog indoors, consider the garage or the security of a safe place such as in a dog carrier. Leaving all the house and yard lights on, can offset the flash of fireworks. 
  • Check your yard - the noise from fireworks can be stressful for dogs' sensitive ears, and they will often turn into escape artists. Take a walk around your backyard before Territory Day and check your fences are secure, with no tell-tale holes or gaps, or places they could be injured or trapped trying to escape through.
  • In extreme circumstances, some dogs may need to be medicated to help deal with their anxiety. Always consult your vet regarding the best solution for your dog and never give your pet medication designed for humans.