Published on: 3 Jun, 2020
Pound Facts - Northern Territory
Desexing, animal registration & microchipping
There are no mandatory desexing laws in the Northern Territory and not all Council areas require animals to be microchipped. Animals registration, however, appears to be compulsory across all local government areas.
You can check the different requirements directly with your local council here.
What should I do if my pet is missing?
You should take these steps.
What happens if I find a stray animal?
Local Councils should be notified if you come across what appears to be a stray animal.
Are Councils required to collect stray animals?
If a wandering animal is reported some Councils will collect the animal and attempt to reunite it with its owner via its registration or other identification (collar/microchip). If rangers are unable to locate the owner, they will be taken to the Council pound or a welfare organisation.
How long will my pet be held in the pound?
This varies across Council areas with some Councils permitted to sell an impounded animal after as little as three days.
Is a payment required for collection?
Yes. This too will vary between Council and welfare organisations. In some instances, if the animal is registered and microchipped and it is the first time the animal has wandered off there may be no fee. In other cases, animals will be microchipped and registered and this cost will need to be paid in addition to the pound holding fee.
Depending on the circumstances of a missing dog, some owners may also be liable for not adequately restraining their dog; for their animals entering restricted areas and an owner may also be liable for a fine for having an unregistered pet.
Will they rehome or euthanise my pet?
The RSPCA notes that all the pounds in the greater Darwin region work with rescue groups to rehome animals that are not collected while other pounds rehome directly.
Will my pet be desexed?
The Northern Territory does not have mandatory desexing legislation in place. Council by-laws, however, may require animals to be desexed prior to being rehomed and some Councils offer discounted registration for animals that have been desexed.
Who is responsible for registering/maintaining microchip details?
In some areas of the Northern Territory animals that are unregistered and are not microchipped will have a microchip implanted and the animal will be registered prior to being returned to its owner.
This expense will be incurred by the owner and must be paid prior to collecting their animal.