Diabolical Dog Catcher

A Forgotten Trope, this trope describes animal control agents who enjoy their job a little too much. He/she gets a sick thrill out of capturing stray dogs, imprisoning them and even putting the poor things down. A tag won't matter to these people, and they are likely to get rid of it so they can get the satisfaction their prisoners are not going to good homes and loving families.

In more comedic series, you'll often see them trying to capture dogs using giant butterfly nets rather than anything that could actually seem effective at capturing a dog. How this is supposed to work is never addressed.

Not a very popular trope among actual (modern day) dog catchers, who are more concerned about taking good care of stray animals and finding them a good home. This may have been more Truth in Television in the past, however, due to Values Dissonance on animal welfare. This trope goes hand in hand with Pounds Are Animal Prisons, another relic of the bad old days.


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    Films — Animation 
  • Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted features a Monaco-based animal control agent named Chantel DuBois. DuBois goes way beyond her jurisdiction hunting down the main characters, not so she can lock them up, but so she can mount Alex's head on her wall (The wall itself is covered in all kinds of animal heads, suggesting she does this with all her targets). Her dialogue even suggests that she's been killing animals and making trophies out of them since she was a child.
  • Chief Animal Containment Officer Trumper in Shaun the Sheep: The Movie, who taunts his charges and deliberately kicks over an "Adopt a Pet" sign his assistants have put up. Averted by the assistants, who are well-meaning animal lovers but unable to do anything to stop him. After his defeat, the ending credits show them replacing the Animal Containment Centre sign with one saying Animal Protection Centre.
  • The animal control agents in The Secret Life of Pets say things like "It's over for you!" and "I'll kill you!" to their targets. They also act pretty evil, relentlessly hunting down Duke and Max.
  • The shadowy figures who run the pound in Lady and the Tramp are shown dragging a dog off to shoot it.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Hotel for Dogs: The dog catchers seen throughout the film go about their job with sadistic glee. At one point, one of them says "Who cares about a bunch of dumb dogs?"
  • In Skippy, Mr. Nubbins takes cruel delight in confiscating Sooky's dog, and later takes cruel pleasure in telling them that he shot the dog.
  • 101 Dalmatians opens with an in-universe case as Roger, who's a video game developer, is working on a game where you play as a dog and are running from one of these. The tiredness of the trope is lampshaded as the other devs Roger works with really hate the idea. (Putting in Cruella to Animals works though.)

    Live-Action TV 

    Western Animation 
  • The second season of the original Pound Puppies series has the dog-hating Katrina Stoneheart owning her own pound, and constantly trying to lock the Pound Puppies up in it.
  • The dog catcher from The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 episode "Life's Ruff".
  • Scooby-Doo:
    • In one episode of A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, the Monster of the Week is said to be the ghost of a cruel dog catcher who loved nothing more than catching dogs. Turns out he's really a guy who made treats for the Doo Family trying to get a priceless collar from Scooby.
    • Curiously, Scooby is pursued by a very much alive, though just as sociopathic, dog catcher of the same name in a later short.
  • Averted in Martha Speaks: Kazuo is a kind, gentle person who keeps the dogs comfortable and well fed, and does everything he can to get them adopted by loving families. He even adopts an old bulldog called "Pops" when no one else wants him.
  • Rude Dog and the Dweebs: Rude Dog has to contend with evil dog catchers. The show even has an evil dog sidekick who thought nothing of selling out his fellow mutts.
  • Several Tom and Jerry shorts featured a diabolical dog catcher. One had Spike give up his collar and license to Tyke in order to go to the pound in his son's place. Another had Jerry save a dog from a dog catcher, creating an Androcles' Lion scenario.
  • An episode of íMucha Lucha! had Masked Dog captured by one of these. When Buena Girl points out that he's only supposed to catch homeless dogs, he counters by pointing out that his job title is "Dog Catcher", not "''Homeless'' Dog Catcher".
  • In The Little Rascals episode "Poached Pooch", the Rascals have to rescue Pete from the dog catcher after Butch steals Pete's collar and license.