Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Keep your pets safe this cyclone season

With the annual cyclone season upon us in the Top End, Territorians are reminded to prepare their emergency plan not just for their families, but also their pets and livestock.

It’s a timely reminder that anyone with a pet or any animal for that matter, should prepare for the season by including them in your emergency plan and getting your pet emergency kit ready.

The plan should include where to shelter, as well as identification and emergency numbers. The kit should include water, food, toys and medication.

The festive season is a great opportunity to spend time with friends and family and having a plan in place will help to ensure everyone stays safe.

Regardless of your plan, Territorians are asked to ensure that pets and animals are properly identified with a name tag including contact phone number, a micro-chip, or a brand in the case of livestock.

Quotes from Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade Director of Animal Welfare Peter Phillips

“Advance planning will help keep your family and animals safe.

“Cyclones are stressful for pets as well as people and animals react differently under stress. Even the most trustworthy pets might panic, hide, try to escape, or even bite or scratch.

“If your pet is not going with you on holiday, as the owner you must make appropriate arrangements for its care. This may include options such as boarding kennels, house sitters, professional home care, a reliable friend or neighbour, or an agistment service.

“It is an offence under the Animal Welfare Act to breach your duty of care for your pets and could result in penalties.

Quote from RSPCA Darwin General Manager Peter King

“Reports indicate a high chance of cyclone activity across the Top End this wet season.

“It’s imperative that animals in the care of owners are considered as part of cyclone planning in the household, or on the property.

“Even if a cyclone does not arrive, the usual monsoonal storms can be just as stressful for animals and they need to be secured in the safest way possible to prevent escape and/or injury, or worse.

“It’s every animal owners responsibility to ensure animals in their care - be it in a companion, assistance, or agricultural capacity is given the appropriate level of attention to minimise exposure to these very stressful events.

“A handy guide for preparing for natural disasters can be found at the following link to RSPCA’s Knowledgebase:

https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/what-should-i-consider-if-i-need-to-evacuate-my-animal-in-a-natural-disaster/ 

Quote from City of Palmerston Mayor, Athina Pascoe-Bell

“Palmerston pet owners are reminded to register their pets with City of Palmerston and have them microchipped so we can safely return them home if they escape during a storm or cyclone.

“We have some great online tips to help you care for your pets. Go to www.palmerston.nt.gov.au/live/animals/caring-pets.

To keep up to date with weather-related emergency information, visit www.securent.nt.gov.au and follow Secure NT on Facebook.

If you are concerned about an animal’s welfare or suspect or witness cruelty, report it to Animal Welfare on 1300 720 386.

Quote from Darwin City Council Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis

“Ensuring your pets are safe during the cyclone season is part of being a responsible pet owner.

“Pets are part of the family and looking after their health and safety is important. 

“Please make sure your pets can be easily identified – and micro-chipping is a great option – so they can be quickly and easily returned to you by Council rangers in the event they become lost.”

To keep up to date with weather-related emergency information, visit www.securent.nt.gov.au and follow Secure NT on Facebook.

If you are concerned about an animal’s welfare or suspect or witness cruelty, report it to Animal Welfare on 1300 720 386.

Media contact: 0448 698 409