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Would-be Dictator. Murderer. Kidnapper. Terrorist. Puppy punter.

"The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel."
Proverbs 12:10, The Bible (New International Version)

There's something about cruelty towards animals that really gets to a lot of people. Maybe it's the fact that there's so little many (especially ones smaller than humans) can do to defend themselves. Maybe it's that fact that they often can't even understand why a human is lashing out at them. Maybe it's the fact that it's often so gratuitous and unnecessary. Or maybe it's the fact that we instinctively feel protective over all things small and adorable. Whatever the reason, almost all societies are going to look down on somebody if they hurt an animal for no good reason.

Animals considered to be dangerous, such as crocodiles, snakes, bears, sharks, and big cats are usually an exception; see What Measure Is a Non-Cute? for a possible reason, though it may also have a lot to do with the fact that those animals aren't as defenseless and therefore are not seen as easy victims. Furthermore, they may be a threat to people and understandably force them to use violence. Even then they are still likely to be seen sympathetically under certain circumstances. Pets in particular are seen as defenseless, as tame animals tend to trust humans. As Real Life shows, however, there may be exceptions with people neutralising the threat of dangerous animals in order to toy with them. In this case, they are as defenseless as the harmless animals and the perpetrator is just as bad as the others and even more clearly a Dirty Coward.

An almost surefire way to make a character irredeemable is to invoke this trope. In addition, animal cruelty, especially torture and mutilation, is often treated as an early warning sign for future violent criminals such as a Serial Killer. Sometimes, however, the whole thing may be played for Black Comedy (and Cringe Comedy) instead, in which case the show may take Refuge in Audacity and the person involved may not exactly be bad so much as he's stupid.

Note that as a general rule, the abuse must be human-on-animal (or, in Speculative Fiction, sapient-on-nonsapient), except for situations involving Furry Confusion. The animals must also not be anthropomorphic. Being able to use a human language is acceptable, but the animals in the work must have roughly the same relationship with humans as they do in real life, so far as the humans concerned don't know about their sapience.

Kick the Dog and If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten! are not always related, since any act of gratuitous evil besides hurting animals can be substituted there. See also Cruella to Animals and Exotic Entree for more specific variants, and Enemy to All Living Things for a more supernatural one. Chronic Pet Killer may also overlap if the killing isn't done on accident. Black Comedy Animal Cruelty, is when this trope is Played for Laughs. Animal Lover is the direct inverse.

While exaggerated in fiction, psychologists have even observed that animal abuse is a common early warning sign of a Serial Killer. As noted on the same sources, this is especially true of children living in an abusive environment who may use an animal to reenact violent episodes from their life. Given help, many of these kids grow up to lead healthy and productive lives.

Since there is a lot of debate on what does and does not count as animal abuse, No Real Life Examples, Please! As a rule of thumb, your example will need to legally qualify as animal abuse in Real Life in order to count. Also, just like Abusive Parents, this trope is not for complaining about characters you dislike.

Sub-Trope to Good Taming, Evil Taming. Compare Menagerie of Misery, in which bad people also own zoos and abuse animals.

For in-depth information on the awful subject, see the article on That Other Wiki.


Example subpages:

Other examples:

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    Advertising 
  • An ad for safe sex featured a criminal who was born because his parents didn't use a condom. At the age of four, he cooks a live kitten in an oven. Hearing the poor animal meow as it dies is heartbreaking.

    Art 
  • William Hogarth's series of engravings intended as moral instruction, The Four Stages of Cruelty. In the first stage, an antisocial boy named Tom Nero tortures a dog for his own amusement. In the second stage, now an adult, he savagely beats his own coach horse out of frustration until he puts out its eye. In the third stage, he graduates to robbery and the seduction and murder of a servant girl. The fourth stage displays his "reward" for his crimes: execution and, to add insult to injury, dissection.

    Comic Books 
  • 2000 AD:
    • Judge Dredd: When Judge Death recounts how he began his long career of evil in his Origins Episode, the first obvious clue that he was an Enfant Terrible are his early sadistic tendencies of torturing the family dog and shooting at birds.
    • Zombo: Played for laughs in a throwaway gag, when one of President of the Earth Donald Trump's assistants mentions that his boss once shredded a puppy.
  • In Afterlife with Archie, when she was ten, Cheryl's puppy choked on her leash. Her Crazy Jealous Guy brother Jason killed her because Cheryl loved Sugar too much. It's later implied their relationship is at least somewhat forced by Jason.
  • Batman:
    • Defied by The Joker in at least one story (Emperor Joker). Evil Jimmy Olsen kills Superman, who has been turned into a dog, by crushing him underneath a fire hydrant. The Joker is simply annoyed because he doesn't know how to make something as pointless as beating a dumb animal funny. Jimmy Olsen is then beaten to death by two giant robots who appear out of nowhere.
    • At least one take on Mister Freeze's origins had him, as a child, trying to "preserve" his pets by locking them in the freezer (though it could be argued that he wasn't trying to be cruel so much as very, very out of touch with reality). Interestingly, this twist was introduced by none other than Paul Dini, the architect behind Freeze's Tear Jerker Batman: The Animated Series revamp.
    • The Penguin is often shown eating fish whole (sometimes they're still alive as he eats them), as a nod to his namesake. He also wears fur coats, since he's a Rich Bitch. And while he superficially loves birds, some of his pet birds were acquired illegally, such as Scrap the vulture in the BTAS episode "I've Got Batman In My Basement". In the comic Joker's Asylum, a young Penguin goes insane and kills his birds just because one bit him. He did feel sad about it afterwards, but SWEET JESUS you don't want to piss this guy off. Also, in the film Batman Returns, he holds his sword-umbrella to Catwoman's pet cat, and he killed his parents' cat as a baby.
    • The villain of the Ace the Bathound story "Hounded" in Batman: Urban Legends runs a pet cemetery and animal shelter which is actually a training camp for supervillain pets, and also performs unnecessary experiments on the animals For the Evulz. When he's being given a humanitarian award, he has a speech saying that when you see how people treat animals, you know how they'd like to treat other people.
    • The amorality of one villain was shown when he chastises his Dumb Muscle over a mistake, picking up the goon's kitten as he goes on. By the time he leaves the room, the cat's neck was broken as punishment for the goon's failure.
  • Calexit: Jamil's first on-screen customer was a soldier that recounts how his sister's ex spitefully poisoned their hummingbird feeder and had to watch the birds die.
  • Calico (2020): The villains that Calico targets are people who have hurt animals in some way. Issue #1 has him kill a rich family who shot a lioness on a hunting trip, and Issue #2 has him decapitate a man who clubbed baby seals.
  • Dark Reign:
    • During Dark Young Avengers, Executioner show Kate Bishop the bosy of a cat he murdered and mutilated.
    • The final issue of Sinister Spider-Man sees one of the things Bullseye tosses at Venom (Mac Gargan) when he and Daken are sent after him be a poodle. Once he takes it out of his eye, Gargan takes the poodle and chucks it back into the crowd.
  • The Darkness: Appolonia Franchetti snaps her pet cat's neck in front of Jackie just to prove a point about how she will never let anything get in her way. The worst thing is that she did it right after saying she raised him since he was a kitten and he was very precious to her and she will miss him when he is gone.
  • Spectacularly subverted by Marvel Comics' Doctor Doom, who lost a match against Squirrel Girl and her battalion of squirrels because Doom refuses to be cruel to small, cute critters. "Doom is never petty."
  • Sha: One of the five main villains, who is obsessed with insects, is seen petting a Cute Kitten before casually feeding it to his arthropod friends while remarking that insects are the "superior species" on Earth. Of course, given What Measure Is a Non-Cute?, this is probably a straight example.
  • In Sin City: Family Values, a mafia hitman recounts how he "lit up" a diner with twin Uzis, killing everybody inside, then stopped just to shoot a stray dog before making his getaway. This proved to be his fatal mistake, as the collateral damage from this event (shooting a prostitute in a phone booth next to the dog) brought the wrath of Old Town onto his entire organization.
  • Superman:
    • In The Leper from Krypton, Lex Luthor puts an indeterminate number of rabbits and cats through a terrible death to test his newly created virus, and later to fool world governments into paying for a fake cure. And he is smiling gleefully every time.
    • The Super-Revenge of Lex Luthor: Lex permanently damages a rabbit's brain to test his skills at psychological manipulation.
  • Ultimate X-Men: It's revealed in issue #99 that Sabretooth abused animals as a child, always a bad sign of things to come.
  • Surtr in Valhalla is one of the most evil and cruel Jotunns, and has abused Fenrir, making him turn from a lovable Big Friendly Dog who just hates to be chained to an evil, rampaging beast.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): As part of cementing that the Stalker with a Crush Diana nabbed while he was following his victim is a dangerous threat to the woman he "loves" he'd previously killed the woman's pets for getting engaged to another man even though she'd never been in a relationship with him and had a restraining order against him.

    Comic Strips 
  • Dick Tracy: Not only was Miss Egghead an aficionado of Beastly Bloodsports — running a stable of gamecocks — but she also strangled a young girl's pet rooster in front of her.
  • Footrot Flats: Unlike his father and brother, who restrict their bullying to those who can theoretically fight back, Fat Bastard 'Hunk' Murphy likes to indulge in such petty acts of cruelty as pulling the wings off butterflies.
  • Mark Trail: Every villain, since Mark is a heroic nature writer and Animal Lover.

    Fairy Tales 
  • The King Of The Golden River: When explaining why Schwartz and Hans, "the Black Brothers", are two nasty pieces of work, the narrator talks about them killing innocent animals before everything else (abusing and underpaying servants, hoarding corn and then selling it for twice its value...).

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon):
    • The alien Makers who turned Ichi, Ni and San into Ghidorah eons ago. Besides what they did to those once-little critters that subsequently led to them becoming so monstrously sadistic, the author commented that said Precursors probably enjoyed taking electric prods to whatever animal equated to puppies in their home. This is described in Abraxas: Empty Fullness.
    • In the Recursive Fanfiction one-shot Finding You (Genocide), the Titan Camazotz and his minions massacre numerous wild animals and drop their remains from the sky on Monster X like a visceral rain for no other reason than to intimidate Monster X.note 
  • In Darkrai's chapter of the Beginning Trainer's Guide to Pokémon, the in-universe author tells the story of a Trainer he knew who caught a Darkrai and decided to make it hate him as much as possible to maximize the power of its Frustration (a move that gets stronger the more the Pokémon hates its Trainer). He accomplished this by feeding it bitter medicine and forcing it to fight Fighting-type Pokémon it was weak against, so it would get knocked out constantly. Eventually the Darkrai turned on him and attacked him so ferociously that he was forced to release it, but it continued to haunt him and inflict terrifying nightmares on him every new moon. Four years later, the Darkrai was still stalking its old Trainer and forcing him to endure its nightmares, causing him to be reduced to a shadow of his former self.
  • The Bolt Chronicles:
    • The puppy mill owner in "The Seven" abandons his dogs and leaves them to starve.
    • Mittens's adoptive family (especially Jack, the head of the household) in "The Survivor" is nightmarishly abusive to animals. Jack has a history of flushing or abandoning his daughter's pets, tries to starve and kill Mittens, and has her declawed. His daughter Claire is depicted as neglectful (losing interest in the pets she acquires) rather than outright abusive.
  • A Boy, a Girl and a Dog: The Leithian Script: Back when the world was young, the first Dark Lord Morgoth used to catch eagles and hawks and cut their wings off to figure out how to make his own flying creatures or machines.
  • In the Pokémon creepypasta Cyan, the unnamed Sinnoh Champion treats his Pokémon terribly and forces them to breed with their own offspring in order to get Pokémon with perfect stats. He gets his comeuppance when the Daycare woman gives him a special egg that hatches into a shiny Treecko, which kills him.
  • Five Things The Baker Taught Anastasia, and One Thing They Learnt Together: The contrasting personalities between Anastasia and her sister Drizella is showcased by Drizella taking joy in animal's miseries. As a kid, she'd pull the legs off of bugs and laugh at animal deaths.
  • His History Revealed: A Dr. Robotnik Biography: It was an unintentional death, but a sign of Harold Robotnik's cruelty and Sanity Slippage is how he tried to power his engine using his son's puppy. It didn't work as expected and the puppy all-but exploded.
  • The Pokemon fic "Meanwhile" (written before Pokemon Journeys aired) reveals that Pikachu was subjected to emotional abuse by his trainer before Ash; his first trainer was emotionally distant at first, then showed kindness when he learnt what was needed for the then-Pichu to evolve into Pikachu, and afterwards kept Pikachu trapped in his Poke Ball and made it clear he only ever saw Pikachu as a tool to win battles rather than a person. Pikachu observes to Meowth that this is the reason why he doesn't want to evolve into Raichu, as thinking about the sensation of evolving makes him remember the trainer who was so dismissive towards him before, and he never wants to feel that way again.
  • The Rigel Black Chronicles: When she finds the first threatening message left by the mysterious assailant petrifying students, Harry is horrified to find the caretaker's cat and its six new kittens, dead and nailed to the wall to underscore how deadly serious the attacker is.
  • Scarlet Lady: While Kwami aren't animals (more like magical, sentient creatures who slightly resemble animals), how a Miraculous holder treats their respective Kwami says a lot about their personality. While Plagg is occasionally annoying, Adrien treats him like a friend (partially because the Kwami, until he started attending school, was the closest friend Adrien had had in a long time). When she gets the Bee Miraculous, Marinette treats Pollen with kindness, making sure she has plenty of snacks and a comfortable place to sleep when they have down time (with the author stating that Pollen hasn't been treated so well in a long time). Nooroo, however, is treated more like a slave/tool by Gabriel (although Gabriel does get a Pet the Dog moment when he's seen eating a meal with Nooroo and Nathalie). Tikki clearly has it the worst, as Chloe gives her no respect (treating her more like an annoying servant), only begrudgingly gets Tikki the cookies she needs, and (when Tikki gets seriously sick) shows no concern whatsoever for her Kwami, refusing to take her to a healer (Marinette and Pollen had to kidnap her so they could take her to Master Fu).
  • Turning Point: According to Hector, the same healer who accused Lisa of witchcraft also liked to poison cats.
  • In Viva La Vida, Odd Todd is shown kicking a pigeon that wanders towards one of the pies that Olive brought him. Later on in the same chapter, Olive uses the Pudding-inator on the pigeons (Polly Graph's, specifically) that attack Odd Todd and turns them all to pudding out of sheer instinct, which proves to be the final nail in the coffin that makes her join the Todd Squad.
  • In With Pearl and Ruby Glowing, Bill Cipher rips the teeth out of a deer and, since he's human here, doesn't magically put them back, instead letting it free to starve. Less gratuitously, Ratigan kills Toby when breaking into Basil's home, and Madame Medusa live-feeds Brutus and Nero (arguably cruel to them as well as the prey, as prey fighting back have been known to injure pet carnivores severely). Deconstructed, however, with Sea Hawk; as a severely abused child, he kills animals to regain a feeling of power over his life, but everyone dismisses him as an Enfant Terrible.

    Films — Animation 
  • Cruella DeVil from 101 Dalmatians is so driven to have a dalmatian fur coat to compliment her fur coat obsession that she orders her goons to break into a house and steal some and then kill them all in the quickest way possible ("Any way you like — poison them, drown them, bash them in the head!").
  • In the Bambi movies, the enemy and antagonist is Man. They murder animals often enough that animals have to watch out for them whenever going out in the meadow, and hide whenever they're in the forest. Subverted in that Man isn't actually presented as evil, though animals consider them horrifying gods who can kill them easily with their weird long arms. Wanting to present Man as a neutral character is why Walt Disney never showed their faces.
  • El Primero from Ferdinand is a famous bullfighter who is an entitled, arrogant and pompous character who only spares Ferdinand in the climax at the insistence of the crowd.
  • Judge Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame likens the Romani population of Paris to vermin, and even crushes an ant colony with a tile to make a point about wanting to destroy them. He even has no qualms in hurting Esmeralda's pet goat Djali, as he got one of his soldiers to capture the goat and have him detained along with Esmeralda and the rest of the Romani people to be executed. Surprisingly enough, he is NEVER shown to mistreat his horse Snowball, even ordering his soldiers not to hurt it when Phoebus attempts to escape on its back.
  • Conrad Cuppman in the Hugo movies. He wants to make Hugo a movie star against his will and pretty much destroys Hugo's home when capturing him.
  • Leafie from Leafie, a Hen into the Wild was kept in a small cage all her life surrounded by other hens, only destined to produce eggs. She escapes at the beginning into the wild. Her owner is presented as an antagonist who later tried to clip her adopted duck son's wings.
  • Ursula the sea witch from Disney's The Little Mermaid has no regard for the well-being of others. She devours one of four terrified brine shrimp whole and alive like a cashew; she squeezes an anemone until it bleeds to use its blood as lipstick; at least two of the ingredients for her mermaid-to-human potion are live creatures in bottles, staring horrified at their impending doom. In her Vanessa disguise, Ursula kicks a growling Max the sheepdog and tries to strangle Scuttle. However, she does care for her pet moray eels Flotsam and Jetsam; even becoming extremely distressed when they're accidentally killed by the trident which led to her Roaring Rampage of Revenge, but this is likely Moral Myopia at work.
  • In Open Season, Shaw tries to murder animals he has no business killing, including Boog, a circus bear. He also goes out of his way to kill Elliot. He also falsely believes animals are trying to take over the world.
  • Referenced in Don Bluth's The Secret of NIMH when Nicodemus recounts the origins of the intelligent rats.
    Nicodemus: We were captured, put in cages, and sent to a place called Nimh. There were many animals there, in cages. They were put through the most unspeakable tortures ... all to satisfy some scientific curiosity.
  • In the Shaun the Sheep feature film, Trumper imprisons most of the animals that he finds in what is essentially a prison, where they get little food and are treated like vermin. This is all to make him feel like a hero when he's actually pathetic.
  • Plenty of examples can be found in Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, often rubbing shoulders with Humans Are Bastards.
    • The stable master uses many bondage techniques in his effort to shoe and brand the titular stallion. Each failure dials up the cruelty a notch.
    • The railroad men hitch more than one hundred horses to yokes to pull a huge locomotive to the top of a grade in winter, motivating them with crops and whips. The locomotive is too bulky to power itself up the slope, and even the horses struggle with the icy footing.
  • Dr. J Sweetly Applecheeks maintains a facade of caring for animals in Tom and Jerry: The Movie, but he actually captures pampered pets and ransoms them back to their wealthy owners. His dingy basement is filled with cramped cages where he terrorizes the animals with a horsewhip.
  • Wallace & Gromit: In A Matter of Loaf and Death, Piella is routinely cruel to her dog Fluffles, giving her a few not-too-gentle kicks, verbally tearing her down and outright trying to kill her in the climax. She's not particularly nice to Gromit either, trying to trap him in her house so he has to watch Wallace being blown up.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Better Call Saul:
    • Gus Fring tells a comatose Hector a story about how, growing up poor, he snared a coati that was eating the fruit from a tree he cultivated, and despite it having a broken leg that would have made killing it more merciful, kept it alive just so that it would suffer more as revenge for taking his stuff, which is exactly the same thing he's doing to Hector right now. For the record, this is a coati.
    • In "Bad Choice Road" Lalo suspects Jimmy of withholding information from him and decides to interrogate him. He swaggers into Kim and Jimmy's apartment, gun on display, and affecting his trademark terrifyingly cheery demeanour. As if all this doesn't tell us how evil he is, he taps on the side of their goldfish's tank — and then after Jimmy pleads with him "You shouldn't do that, it upsets the fish" he defiantly does it again.
  • Blackadder: Played for Black Comedy, naturally.
    • The eponymous Witch Hunter in "Witchsmeller Pursuivant" is shown to be a horrible human being before he even appears, as the villagers admit he made them burn an old lady and her cat. Later, when Edmund mentions the old lady to him, he proudly adds, "Oh yes. And her pussycat." Toward the end of the episode, he's all but stated to have murdered Edmund's horse.
    • In "Private Plane," it transpires that General Melchett shot George's pet rabbit after allowing a dog to savage him, at George's 6th birthday party. (This despite that in a previous episode, Melchett was ready to send Edmund to the firing squad for having killed Melchett's pet pigeon.)
  • Blood Drive: Rib Bone is a thoroughly bad person, but he kills someone because they left their dog in a truck with the windows shut and promptly, dotingly, adopts her. Of course, his victim was a redneck cannibal, so...
  • In Breaking Bad, while at his uncle Hector's house in the country, Tuco starts randomly shooting cows with a machine gun to pass the time. His hostages Walter and Jesse are horrified.
  • Referenced in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, where one piece of evidence that the first Oolong Slayer suspect is a psycho is his past arrest for torturing an animal. Jake is disappointed that it was just a squirrel, but Holt points out that it still counts. When they find the real Slayer, Jake is ecstatic that he abused dogs.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Angelus once nailed a puppy to a girl's door before committing some unspecified atrocity. Buffy even makes a point of telling him that she doesn't have any pets so he better skip that part in his campaign to terrorize her.
    • He also kills Willow's fish.
  • Columbo: In "Étude in Black", the murderer kills his mistress with an ashtray in the presence of her alarmed sulfur-crested cockatoo. What's even worse is that he drags her body to the kitchen, turns on the oven, and makes it leak gas into the house which not only frames the murder as a suicide but leaves the poor bird to succumb and perish from the fumes. The cockatoo's death doesn't go unnoticed by Columbo either and serves as one of the clues debunking the suicide set-up.
  • We don't see it too much in Criminal Minds — the killers tend to focus on human victims — but they frequently quote the "homicidal triad," three behaviors that can be an indicator of psychopathy: bedwetting, setting fires, and cruelty to animals.
    • Of characters who actually do harm animals in-series, we have: a teen boy who feared he would become a psychopath and admitted to killing a bird when he was younger ("Sex, Birth, Death"), a young boy who killed his brother and admitted (off-screen) to Prentiss that he'd formerly killed the family puppy ("A Shade of Gray"), Ashley Seavers's serial killer father who drowned a puppy she brought home as a child ("What Happens At Home"), another teen boy who practiced his technique on dogs before moving on to women ("The Apprenticeship"), and a man who treated his victims as birds and killed birds in front of them as part of the torture ("Nelson's Sparrow").
    • "The Inspiration" actually subverts What Measure Is a Non-Cute?; the killer's attempt to feed a baby snake to his Slaying Mantis is just as creepy as everything else he does, even though it's a snake.
  • One Victim of the Week on CSI is an awarded humanitarian activist that had been torn to pieces by dogs. As the investigation went on, the cast finds out that she was instead a hard-core Asshole Victim: the head of an underground dog fighting ring that used her reputation as a defender of animals to remain a Villain with Good Publicity and Beneath Suspicion. Her killer is the dogs' handler (and had to see them die painfully or be mistreated to breed their ferocity by her), who reached his Rage Breaking Point when the FBI (who he was an informant to) decided to do nothing about the ring, insisting that their hands were tied because of her reputation and connections even after he gave them a virtual truckful of evidence.
  • Daredevil (2015): Benjamin "Dex" Poindexter regularly killed birds and other small animals in his teenage years.
  • Dexter: It's implied that Dexter killed animals as a child, which was what made his father guess he was growing up into a Serial Killer.
  • In an episode of Dinosaurs Charlene, wanting attention takes in some young humans, which in the show's reality are basically wild animals, and trains them to do some tricks. This attracts the attention of a talent agent, which takes Charlene and her humans on tour, and to keep them in line he tells Charlene that she shouldn't feed them until after a performance, which she reluctantly agrees to since it means being famous. Robby calls her out saying that this is animal cruelty, and even Baby Sinclair, who is incredibly selfish, gives them some of his food when he sees them begging. When one of the humans refuses to do a dangerous stunt, the agent tells her to use an electric prod to force her to perform, but Charlene refuses, and after disbanding her act, sets the humans free where they go to their mother.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Witchfinders", Becka Savage, a local landowner who has killed three dozen of her village's residents in a Witch Hunt, had all of the horses on her estate shot out of paranoia that they were in league with Satan.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • After King Robert Baratheon pardons Arya and Joffrey's fight - which the latter had started, and was bitten by Arya's direwolf, Nyeria in retaliation - Cersei still demands compensation. She orders Sansa's direwolf, Lady (who wasn't the one who bit Joffrey, nor was she even in the woods at the time), to be killed by Ilyn Payne, to Sansa and Arya's protests. Ned volunteers for the task instead, as Lady "deserves better than a butcher", but killing her immensely hurt him inside. When Cersei becomes the Queen after her son Tommen's suicide, one of the first things she does is have his cat, Ser Pounce, executed.
    • Gregor Clegane's response to Ser Loras Tyrell beating him in a joust? Grabbing his sword and beheading his own horse before proceeding to attack Ser Loras himself, all in front of the king and the audience. And that's not even one of the worst things he's done.
    • Ramsay casually mentions to Jon that he purposely starved his hounds for an entire week in hopes of feeding him to them after his army wipes Jon's out. This bites him in the ass hard when his army is defeated and he's imprisoned by Sansa, who locks him in a cell with those very hounds. Ramsay immediately finds out just how loyal to their master starved dogs truly are.
  • In one episode of the live-action Gokusen series, one of Kumiko's students gets in trouble for beating the piss out of two students from a prestigious school. As it later turns out, Kumiko's student did so to stop them from throwing rocks at a puppy. Kumiko makes a point to visit one of the "victims" to remind him that animal cruelty is a crime.
  • Himmelsdalen: The cruel sociopath Raymond nearly drowns Luck, a dog whom Helena is attached to, as a means of tormenting her.
  • Hitler: The Rise of Evil: After a stray dog adopted by Hitler in the trenches humiliates him in front of his fellow servicemen by pissing on his leg, he responds by dragging it off and beating the poor thing to death. However, doing so actually saves Hitler when a shell explodes in the shelter where they just were. In Real Life Hitler was a massive animal lover before the last days of his life and owned two dogs.
  • Legion (2017): In "Chapter 26", Amahl Farouk is presented in a more negative light when he allows the children to torment his caged pet monkey for fun. After hearing it screech in protest, the compassionate Charles Xavier expresses pity at the monkey's mistreatment ("Poor creature"). Farouk then dismisses his guest's concerns about the animal's welfare ("Let [the kids] enjoy their games").
  • In the Leverage episode "The San Lorenzo Job", the team faces a corrupt president of a small, fictional, European island nation backed by a powerful force in the criminal underworld. As the politician is known to be corrupt already, and the normal smear tactics of money scandals or sex scandals wouldn't be enough to damage his reputation further, the heroes invoke this trope and claim he is running a dog-fighting ring in his presidential palace. The crime lord is even impressed by the tactic and recognizes its potential effectiveness.
  • A first season Millennium (1996) focuses on an isolated farm worker who furtively maims and kills horses. Frank looks into the crimes in the hopes of stopping a Serial Killer before he starts. The horse killer moves on to killing people when someone startles him in the act, then moves on to deliberate murder of humans. His story comes full circle when a team of horses trample him during his confrontation with Frank.
  • Monarch: Legacy of Monsters: In "Will the Real May Pleast Stand Up?", May is horrified to discover that the tech company she's been working for, which is later revealed to be a pre-rebranding Apex Cybernetics from Godzilla vs. Kong (as described on the Live-Action Film page), have been secretly running cruel experiments which include inserting machines into monkeys' brains and leaving them in perpetual agony. The discovery turns May into a Defector from Decadence and leads to her present day circumstances in the series.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: In the Mouse Organ sketch, a man plays "The Bells of St. Mary's" on a mouse organ — a bunch of [unseen] mice he whacks with a mallet so that they squeak out the tune. The in-universe audience reacts with horror and a stage manager grabs him & pulls him offstage.
  • Mouse (2021):
    • Jae-hoon kills a rabbit, his father's dog, and his father's pet fish. The creepiest part? He's a child when he does this!
    • Ba-reum snaps a bird's neck and kills two cats when his original personality takes over.
    • A victim's dog finds their owner dead, so the murderer kills the dog too.
  • The Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation episode "Going Ape" has Bonesteel, a recurring villain who tries to hunt the Turtles, admit that he enjoys hurting baby seals.
  • Primeval: Caroline Steel, the woman who picks up and starts dating Connor to spy on him for Oliver Leek, is horrifically and needlessly vicious towards Rex. When the little prehistoric lizard knocks over a salad she made while Connor and Abby are out of the house, Caroline shoves him in the freezer box and leaves him there in retribution (bear in mind, Rex is cold-blooded, and would have almost certainly died if Connor and Abby hadn't come home in time to rescue him). She changes her way in the finale, and notably goes out of her way to atone towards Rex after she repents.
  • In episode five of Reacher, Reacher befriends a dog whose owner has been abusive to it, and when he finds the dog severely hurt because of the owner, he punches the asshole out, wraps him up in his own dog chain, and then drops the dog off at a no-kill shelter to be taken care of.
  • In Victor Creel's flashbacks in Season 4 of Stranger Things, mutilated animals are an early sign that there's evil afoot. The culprit is Creel's son Henry, who has telekinetic powers that he subsequently uses to murder his mother and sister. And that's just him getting warmed up...
  • Strangers From Hell: Deuk-jong has killed at least thirteen cats around the neighbourhood.
  • Discussed on Tiger King, where at a certain point one of the interviewees notes that everyone can bond against perpetrators of animal cruelty. Another tells an anecdote about the series' central subject, Joe Exotic, where he accepted an old horse from a woman who wanted it to live out its final days in a pasture, only to shoot it in the head the moment she was gone and feed the remains to the tigers, which is commented as being "unbelievably cruel."
  • The Twilight Zone (1959):
    • In "A Nice Place to Visit", one of Rocky Valentine's earliest crimes was, at the age of six, killing a small dog because it bit him.
    • In "The Masks", Jason Foster mentions that he has seen his grandson Wilfred Harper, Jr. kill small animals in the past. He later says that Wilfred, Jr. sees humanity as an animal caught in a trap to be tormented.
  • The White Queen: George of Clarence, the most deceitful member of the House of York, poisons his own pet dog just so he can blame Queen Elizabeth for its death and paint her as a murderer who wants to get rid of him, his wife and their unborn son.
  • Yellowjackets: Averted in the flashbacks to the time when the team is stranded in the wilderness. Plenty of animals get killed, but it's out of necessity (for food or self-defense) and their deaths are not crueler than necessary. Played straight in other examples.
    • Misty is shown calmly watching a rat drown before the plane even took off as an early indicator of her low empathy and willingness to resort to violence.
    • In the present, Shauna bludgeons a rabbit to death after noticing chewed-up plants in her garden. Thanks to a Gory Discretion Shot, viewers are spared the sight. Unfortunately, not the sound.
    • Biscuit, the Abara-Turner family dog, goes missing and his head turns up on Taissa's altar on the Season 1 finale.

    Music 
  • "My Uncle's Navy" by Neko Case is an autobiographical song about Case's abusive uncle, who, among other things, forced her to watch as he decapitated harmless garter snakes.
  • Eminem:
    • The title character of Eminem's "Stepdad" stomped young Slim's chihuahua to death for peeing on the carpet. This leads Slim to plot to "put him down like they did to my dog".
    • Suiting his Serial Killer theming, Slim Shady's Villain Songs often portray him as an animal abuser, such as in "I'm Back", which has him stuffing the corpses of kittens in the mailbox of his school bullies, or in "Marshall Mathers", where he takes decapitated dogs for walks, or the frequent references to him blowing up a hamster in the microwave. And there's also "FACK", but the less said about that, the better.

    Religion 
  • The Bible:
    • From the Book of Proverbs: "The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel." (Proverbs 12:10)
    • That's also partly why the Sabbath day law was instituted by God for His people Israel — not only for the sake of His people being given rest but also so that their work animals would be given rest. Jesus points this out to the Pharisees for their condemning Him for healing people on the Sabbath, challenging them by saying, "Don't you let your animals loose on the Sabbath so that they can be watered?" or "Don't you rescue your animals on the Sabbath if they fall into a pit?"

    Theatre 
  • Children's Party at the Palace has Cruella de Vil. She is known for turning animals into fur coats and has even threatened to turn Jess (the cat of Postman Pat) and the Queen's corgis into clothing. Eventually she helped with sabotaging the Queen's party by dealing with the corgis (who happen to be very rough to her).
  • In The Little Foxes, Alexandra complains about Leo beating the horses when they were out riding together. This cruelty is portrayed as representative of the Hubbard family since their having "killed animals they couldn't use" was very offensive to Birdie's late mother.
  • Westeros: An American Musical: Joffrey, when forcibly escorted away from Oberyn's welcoming committee because he's throwing a tantrum, threatens to retaliate for the forced departure by killing eight kittens.

    Video Games 
  • 2Dark: Dr. Krach, who is the one who killed Mr. Smith's wife and kidnapped and brainwashed his children, nails Smith's cat before kidnapping Jessie's daughter.
  • Baldur's Gate III: One of the first demonstrations that the Dark Urge player character is an out-of-control psychopath is an encounter with a squirrel early on, which climbs off its tree to meet you. Depending on the circumstances, the Dark Urge can just punt the poor thing into a tree so hard it leaves bloodstains, completely unprompted and without any input on your part. This is only the start of the horrible places their urges lead to, but it very much sets the tone.
  • BARK (2022): The puppy lives with a very unpleasant-looking man who will THROW YOU if he catches you.
  • Batman: Arkham City: At some point after the events of the previous game, the Penguin had Harley's pet hyenas killed, stuffed, and turned into exhibits in his Arkham City stronghold.
  • Corpse Party has Yuuya Kizami who was already Ax-Crazy to begin with, but a flashback in Chapter 4 in "Blood Covered" reveals he nearly killed his friend Kensuke Kurosake's pet hamster just to watch it die. He's stopped by his older sister who gives him shit for it.
  • In Dead by Daylight, Kenneth Chase had a childhood fascination with birds. When he caught one with anaesthesia, he killed it in his hands and became addicted to the rush. He gradually moved up to killing squirrels, raccoons, and dogs... and then finally a young local man. He ran away from home and joined the circus, adopting a new name ("Jeffrey Hawk") and a friendly clown persona, but he remained an unrepentant Serial Killer.
  • In Dead to Rights, the prison warden Sickle, on top of forcing a prisoner to swallow a lit cigarette and openly salivating over the prospect of executing protagonist Jack Slate, is an animal abuser who threatens to kill Slate's dog Shadow once his owner is dead. The moment he finds out, Slate challenges him to a fistfight, defeats him, and then threatens to "neuter [him] on the spot" if he ever does it again.
  • In Dishonored 2 using the Heart on Kirin Jindosh reveals, among other things, that he vivisected a cat as a child because he "wanted to see how the parts worked".
  • The demons in Doom, though their primary prey are humans, are not above animal cruelty, as shown in the ending to the original game where they kill a rabbit and stick its head on a spike as they're invading Earth. It gets worse in the follow-ups, which clarify that it was Doomguy's pet rabbit in particular.
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, many bandits capture animals such as wolves so they can bet on them in pit fights. Others brutally murder the usually peaceful mammoths for meat.
    • If you're playing as a Khajiit, you'll likely hear the taunt "You remind me of my cousin's cat. Killed that too!".
  • In Far Cry 4 it's not uncommon to find caged tigers or other predatory animals in Royal Army camps and to see soldiers poking at them. One very satisfying way to clear out the camps is to release the tigers and let them kill all the soldiers.
  • Jacket's mass-murdering sprees in Hotline Miami are shown to not spare guard dogs. However, this is justified, as the dogs wouldn't have spared him either. It's suggested by some of his late-game hallucinations that he even feels remorse for killing the dogs.
  • Hungry Lamu: Lamu kills the banana, later revealed to be a dog named Mochi, by culling it with a rock.
  • Kirby and the Forgotten Land has Fecto Forgo. Despite clearly promising the Beast Pack help them get to a "land of dreams" if they bring Elfilin back to them, it's clear that Fecto only care about returning to their true form, and they aren't afraid to put the Beast Pack at harms risk. It ranges from brainwashing King Dedede and Leongar and progressively driving them insane with their influence, to assimilating many Beast Pack soldiers to achieve their chimera form, to outright Demonic Possession and Mind Rape in the post-game.
  • The titular character of Mad Father killed animals as a child, eventually graduating to people. As it turns out, his daughter Aya inherited this trait, and a big part of why he wants to turn Aya into a doll is to prevent her from turning out like him.
  • In Metal Gear Solid, if the player chooses to have Snake shoot the rats scurrying around the facility, he'll get a chewing-out from Colonel Campbell. Do it too much and Naomi will recite the old saw about animal abuse being "one of the signs of a psychopath".
  • Moshi Monsters: The main antagonists are a group of baddies called C.L.O.N.C.: The Criminal League Of Naughty Critters. They are very cruel to Moshlings (the little pets on-sight) and kidnap them, enslave them, turn them into evil creatures called Glumps, steal their sandwiches, and hit them.
  • Done constantly in Mother 3. Most of the enemies you encounter in-game are "chimeras", wild animals who have experimented with to either fuse them together or partially roboticize them. Then there's a segment in which you actually play as a monkey who is facing Electric Torture at the hands of his master.
  • In Octopath Traveler II, Harvey and Petrichor are eventually revealed to be behind the current state of Ochette's final boss, who is whichever animal companion she didn't choose to care for at the start of her story. It's been tortured and experimented on for the past ten years, and Harvey in particular really got into it. Fittingly, they're two of the worst villains in the game, aiding the world-destroying cult out of either extreme jealousy or... just because, respectively.
  • Palworld:
  • In Persona 5, one of your Mementos targets, who you find out by working at a convenience store, has hurt and killed many cats. Morgana, who's in the form of a cat, is especially insistent that you steal his heart.
  • Pokémon examples:
    • In Pokémon Black and White, it's shown that Team Plasma aren't as kind to Pokémon as they claim when two Plasma grunts kick a Munna in an effort to extract some Phlebotinum.
    • There's also Ghetsis, the secret leader of Team Plasma. His Hydreigon in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 knows Frustration at its highest possible power level. Frustration is a move that grows more powerful the more the Pokemon dislikes its trainer. Do the math.
    • In Pokémon Sun and Moon, one of Lusamine's most heinous acts is torturing Cosmog, a baby Pokémon, in order to get it to open up a portal to Ultra Space. They also cryogenically froze a number of Pokémon for their own amusement.
  • Resident Evil – Code: Veronica: Claire watches a creepy home movie of a young Alfred and Alexia pulling off a dragonfly's wings and feeding it to ants as they look on in satisfaction, showing how twisted they were even as children.
  • The whole point of the original Sonic the Hedgehog games is to save little forest animals who have been stuffed inside robots by Dr. Eggman, the (usual) Big Bad.
  • Soul Sacrifice has this in the backstory of the Leviathan. Before his transformation, he was the younger of a king's two sons, constantly ignored and overlooked in favor of his older brother. His father tried to keep him placated with gifts, but the prince simply broke everything he got until the day he was given a robin. When he killed the bird, he finally felt superior to something, and took to constantly torturing animals in order to continue feeling that sense of power.
  • In Tyranny, the psychopathic Verse mentions practicing her knife work on the animals at her family's farm before joining the Scarlet Chorus for further opportunities to maim, torture, and brutalize people under the banner of Kyros.
  • Whiplash: The whole plot of the game is freeing animals from the cruel people of Genron, who perform heinous experiments on animals.
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus shows that in BJ's childhood, his father Rip forced him to shoot his beloved pet dog as punishment for befriending an African-American girl (and if you intentionally miss the shot during the segment, Rip kills the dog himself). Years later, the true depths of Rip's wickedness come to light when BJ learns that he sold out his mother, a Jewish Pole, to the Nazis.
  • In Yakuza, at one point, the player is shown a group of thugs who are laughing while throwing rocks at a stray puppy. The series being what it is, One-Man Army Kiryu happens to be nearby while this is going on. Cue thrashing. The same thing would happen again in the "Another Haruka" substory in Yakuza 5 which even he lampshades as looking all too familiar and having the same result: mooks being beat down on the street.
  • In Yandere Simulator, Ayano would willingly kill her pet if she found out her Senpai was allergic to them. As established in the video "Yandere-chan's Childhood", she killed a cat just to try to experience an emotion for the first time. (It didn't work.)

    Visual Novels 
  • In Spirit Hunter: NG, Kubitarou is quickly established as a nasty spirit due to its modus operandi being the murder and decapitation of people's pets.
  • Super Danganronpa Another 2: The killer of Chapter 3, Kanade Otonokoji, admits to butchering their own dog as a child out of murderous jealousy that her twin sister, Hibiki, preferred to play with it over her. This is just the first of a long, long list of crimes that cement them as one of the most despicable characters in the entire Danganronpa franchise, canon or otherwise.

    Web Animation 
  • ATTACK on MIKA: Himeka gets fed up with her older sister Kotomi's dog, Ron, after he eats her handkerchief. She decides to poison his water with weed killer to get rid of him.
  • McBusters: When the fast food monsters start causing trouble after Walter Peck shuts off the McBusters' deep-frier in the first video, one part has a man's dog sniff a bush full of burger monsters and the burgers start slaughtering the dog off-screen as the owner watches in horror while getting covered in his pet's blood.
  • Murder Drones: In "Heartbeat", Doll spots a robotic cockroach crawling onto a picture of her parents' killer. She immediately makes the cockroach violently blow up, and she licks its visceral remains off her face with a Slasher Smile.
  • On The Edge: The first chapter starring Jiro Kurebayashi has him apply for work at a pet store, which he finds out is a puppy mill. He and his coworker tried to talk to the owner about it, but he was an authoritarian asshole who beat up anyone who crossed him. Things escalated when the chihuahua under Jiro's care died and the owner told him to burn or throw it on the river, which lead him to beat the bastard to a pulp.
  • Pony & Boy: A pony-hating man beats up the boy because he thinks he's calling him a pony. He then threatens to beat up the boy's pony.
  • Revenge Films: Jill beat the neighbor's dog over the head with a shovel despite being a little girl. However, the dog's owner called the cops on her for it.
  • Shishihara: Some delinquents torment a puppy named Koro. When Shishihara saw them, he got very mad at them and he gave the bullies a good scare.

    Webcomics 
  • Drowtales uses this several times:
    • Syphile cemented herself as an antagonist both In-Universe and out by brutally killing Fuzzy, the kitten owned by her adopted sister Ariel, purely because Syphile was having a bad day. The remake version of chapter 1 also pulls a Bait-and-Switch by at first having her accept Ariel having the cat instead of killing it right off, only to lock the two of them in the room for a week, which unsurprisingly leads to Fuzzy defecating everywhere and becoming sick from lack of food. Then she kills it by smashing its head against the wall.
    • Also used for Foreshadowing with the character Jer'kol, who at first acts like an ally to Ariel, but the fact that his wolf is in bad shape physically and seems to have been abused is a big red flag about his true nature and a hint that the above mentioned Syphile actually hired him to kill Ariel.
    • Then there's Yuh'le, a character explicitly described as The Sociopath who is first seen exploding fishes with her mind using her particularly potent brand of Blood Magic. The fact that Mel'arnach, who knew her years ago, knows she does this and still describes her as a good friend if a little odd is a big signal that Mel is a Horrible Judge of Character.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Susan attempts to literally Kick the Dog to get the game she's playing to consider her evil but loses her nerve.
  • In Freaking Romance, as if being an abusive parent weren't bad enough, Zylith's father used to kick her cat whenever he scratched him.
  • My Deepest Secret: Murdering an innocent, defenseless kitten is our first glimpse into Elios' real personality. Zigzagged after The Reveal that he's actually Emma's split personality, which caused her to unknowingly kill the kitten herself for scratching her.
  • In The Order of the Stick, when Haley returns to Greysky City, her former comrades in the thieves' guild hunt her down. Haley briefly muses that they're people she grew up with, then asks Toby, the first person she faces, whether he's still running the dog fighting ring. He replies yes, then is about to ask what that has to do with anything when she shoots him dead, and remarks that "Everyone I grew up with is an asshole."
  • In Spinnerette, the North Korean supervillain Colonel Glass would occasionally skin random animals using his glass powers and leave them near the DMZ to intimidate the South Koreans. He does the same to an alley kitten in Columbus, to keep himself from boiling over and blowing his cover by killing people.
  • In Weak Hero, the trio of bullies that held down Eugene and Rowan in the fight against Wolf are cemented as evil pricks when they're shown throwing rocks at a tied-up kitten. When Teddy finds them, he beats the ever-loving hell out of them. When Teddy tells Rowan what happened, he almost runs off to give them another beating.
  • Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal (2022): One of Ziggy's Mooks is Crazy Larry, a guy who spends all day sitting in a corner and pulling wings off of flies (which he collects in a jar).
    "We sort of just let him do his own thing."

    Web Original 
  • Cracked has a list of 8 Awesome Cases of Internet Vigilantism. #2 is a case where a 14-year-old posted a YouTube video of him beating up a cat. The video caught the attention of Anonymous, who tracked him down through his social media accounts and got him and his brother arrested.
  • The Cult of Scratchwood boasts a Blue-and-Orange Morality example. In Improvement of the Daleks, the Daleks turn Matt's puppy into a cyborg abomination, to Matt's horror. And they genuinely think they're helping.
  • Every episode from The Nostalgia Critic covering Pokémon that features the Critic mocking the franchise and fans of it has this in some capacity. One of the worst examples came from a scene where the Critic outright killed Pokémon in the commercial; the other came in the Freddy vs. Jason review where he even let Ash Williams decapitate Ash Ketchum's Pikachu, then yelled at Ketchum to "Suck it up".
  • In Pokémon World Tour: United, Brian is introduced as an unscrupulous Pokemon Contest Coordinator, directly attacking Victor's Lillipup, Biscuit, and being penalized for it. Later, he appears and demands Cobalt fight him, all the while making disparaging comments towards Cobalt's Cyndaquil, Treble. During the battle, Brian uses a Typhlosion, Cyndaquil's fully evolved form, and Cobalt recognizes both that it appears to be fighting entirely against its will and that it was likely forced to evolve just as unwillingly. This leads to Rose and Cobalt confiscating the Typhlosion after the battle and turning it in as part of filing an abuse complaint. Everyone who refers to the incident regards Brian's actions as the worst thing imaginable. During the trial, much later, it also comes out that he apparently bred numerous Cyndaquil and abandoned the ones he considered useless, including Treble.
  • SCP Foundation:
    • SCP-2025 ("Cone of Humanity") is a region of the Pacific Ocean that causes all motile animals and most machines brought within it to be perceived as "human". Whilst within the region, a convicted serial killer who was a dog lover tried to kill a dog due to perceiving it as a "black-and-brown spotted human".
    • SCP-3213 ("F*ck off Carl") is Carl Prosser, a man who causes any seal near him to gain sapience and the ability to speak. When given the chance, these seals use their newfound abilities to verbally and physically abuse Carl. It's implied that they hate him because he did something extremely heinous to a seal one rainy night.
  • In Ultra Fast Pony, Fluttershy starts off as an incompetent version of this trope. She keeps a bunch of animals that she calls her slaves and treats as such—or at least she tries to. She's so spineless that she can't bring herself to abuse the animals like she wants to. (Later, she decides she'd rather help her animals, at which point she starts hurting and killing them through sheer stupidity.)
  • Lampshaded in Screen Rant Pitch Meetings, where the Screenwriter states that the High Evolutionary is going to be an incredibly hatable villain primarily by the fact that he'll constantly be shown abusing animals. He demonstrates this by sketching out a puppy on the back of his script and punching it, which causes the Producer to declare his undying hatred for him.

    Western Animation 
  • Amphibia: In "A Night at the Inn", the serial killer innkeepers don't eat the snailsnote  of the travelers they lure in and eat, but they do keep their past victims' snails all locked up in a barn, with the bear traps that were clamped on their tails to force their riders to take shelter at the inn still clamped on them instead of being removed and recycled for later use.
  • Arcane: One of the first signs the audience is to root against Silco is that he allows Singed to put a hairless cat in the same cage as a Shimmer-dosed mouse to test the effects of the drug, then barely reacts when the cat is splattered against the wall.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, we discover Azula's way of "feeding the turtleducks" in the royal gardens as a little girl — throwing a loaf of bread at them. Years later, when she's a teenager, they still flee when she appears.
    • For that matter, in the heartbreaking episode, "Appa's Lost Days", our favorite sky bison is imprisoned in a Fire Nation circus; the ringmaster forces his animals to perform in order to eat and threatens them with fire to put them in their place. Sadly Truth in Television.
  • Beavis And Butthead frequently abuse animals in early episodes, though this was toned down in later episodes due to complaints.
  • Recurring villain Professor Nimnul from Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers episode "Catteries Not Included" captured about one hundred cats, and kept them in cages until needed to charge his weapon. Mechanical hands would then seize the cats from the cages, and hold them aloft while large nylon brushes scrubbed them vigorously. Many of the cats cried out in distress at this treatment.
  • Eustace Bagge from Courage the Cowardly Dog does this to the titular dog on a regular basis. In "Ball of Revenge", he even went as far as hiring Courage's past foes to actually kill Courage.
    • In "Freaky Fred", the title hair-shearing barber would surely deny being "bad", but it lines up with the way of things when he recalls having an adorable little hamster for a pet, and he recalls this was the first time he was tempted to be, in his words, naaughty. (To be specific, he's a barber with an obsession shearing off hair from people he perceives as having more than he knows what else to do with.)
    • In "Courage VS Mecha-Courage", Di Lung attempts to quite literally destroy Courage using Mecha-Courage; literally the only thing that stops him from doing so is Mecha-Courage's battery life running out.
  • Family Guy: Quagmire beats Brian the Dog senseless after realizing he made out with his transgender father, which Brian had no knowledge of.
    Quagmire/C-3PO: My god, you shoot small animals for fun? That's the first indicator of a serial killer, ya freak!
    Chris/Luke Skwalker: There's two suns and no women; what the hell am I supposed to do???
  • Final Space: In "The Grand Surrender", the snake god Werthrent on Ash's homeworld, who devours people as sacrifices to himself, keeps his consumed victims eternally alive in a pocket dimension so he can feed on their life force eternally, reducing them to putrid, falling-apart zombies which are literally pleading for a death that Werthrent won't let come to them. And one of the zombified past sacrifices is a cat.
  • Flip the Frog: The short "A Chinaman's Chance" has the Chinese criminal Chow Mein use an iron on Flip's dog.
  • Kaeloo: Mr. Cat, an anthropomorphic cat, regularly abuses non-anthropomorphic sheep for Black Comedy Animal Cruelty in various ways such as kicking them, lighting them on fire, and shooting them with bazookas. The sheep are Made of Iron so they survive all of it.
  • Lu from Mike, Lu & Og abuses her pet turtle Lancelot and treats him like dirt.
  • Monkey Dust: There is a Paedofinder General sketch where the Paedofinder General uses a crossbow to kill a boy's pet dog under the rationale that the dog licking the boy's face was proof that the dog was a "paedo dog".
  • In the episode "Gettin' Twiggy With It" of The Powerpuff Girls (1998), when Miss Keane lets Mitch take Twiggy, the class hamster, he abuses her for fun.
  • The Pet Buster from Puppy in My Pocket: Adventures in Pocketville is the epitome of this trope. He's a Diabolical Dogcatcher who neglects the captured strays in his care whom he eventually sells off into auctions in order to get rich from them, and in one scene even uses a whip while training his captured animals as seen at the end of episode "The Puppybuster".
    • In episodes "Kate's Birthday" and "Together Forever," the Pet Buster hurts Wallace either by punching him out of the way or throwing him into the ground whenever he tries to get Ava away from him, even knocking him unconscious in the former.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show: "Ren Seeks Help," the second episode of Adult Party Cartoon, reveals that Ren regularly tortured and mutilated animals as a child; in particular, he abused a frog to the point said frog literally begged Ren to finish him off.
  • An example from Rick and Morty: Alongside a school bully, a Neo-Nazi, a Westboro Baptist Church member, and the Devil, one of the random people that Rick and Summer beat up in the episode "Something Ricked This Way Comes" is a guy who mistreats his dog.
  • Samurai Jack shows that Aku's demonic minions clearly abuse animals. "Jack and the Flying Prince and Princess" shows them pulling in a helpless dog as it tries to escape torture. Of course, Aku himself allows this in his regime.
  • Sheep in the Big City: When Lisa Rentel has ownership of Sheep, she constantly abuses him in cruel ways for her own enjoyment.
  • TaleSpin: In "All's Whale that Ends Whale", Baloo and Kit find a lost whale named Moby Dimple and return him to Seymour's See-More Seaquarium for the reward money so they can finally buy the Sea Duck back from Rebecca and leave Higher for Hire. However, when they visit the Seaquarium, they discover that Seymour is very abusive to every animal in his care and is more interested in gaining profits than the ethical treatment of his animals, saying that such costs him money. When Baloo and Kit take notice of the animals' poor living conditions, Seymour tells them that since he owns the park, he can run it any way he pleases. Baloo tries to get Seymour to see sense by having Inspector Burrough of A.C.H.O.O.note  visit, but Seymour pulls a few tricks to fool Burrough into thinking that he is treating his animals fairly. Fortunately, near the end of the episode, Seymour ends up getting arrested for the possession of an illegal Smith & Wessonoil double-barreled harpoon when Baloo turns Burrough's attention to it.
  • A Thousand and One... Americas: Halfway during the twelfth episode, Chris, his pet dog Lon and a friendly man from Tiahuanaco they meet along the way witness a llama that is being mistreated by a man who, on top of forcing it to carry lots of cargo, is mounting it; when the characters demand him to stop his actions, he threatens them to harm them (Lon then manages to defeat the man and scare him away, thus saving the llama). Later in the episode, the same man is threatening a goldsmith to kill him if he doesn't reveal to him how to create bronze, thus revealing that the targets of the evil man's cruelty aren't limited to animals (once again, Lon intervenes successfully; and the evil man is eventually captured when trying to leave the city).
  • Todd McFarlane's Spawn:
    • At one point we see Jason Wynn, Spawn's former boss when he was human, talking to someone on the phone whilst holding a puppy. Casually, not even stopping his conversation, he walks over to a fish tank and drops the dalmatian puppy in... said tank is full of piranha, who start ripping the puppy apart. There's no reason why he had to do this. He just does it because he can.
    • In one scene, The Clown confronts Spawn on a church's roof. We see he's stroking a cat...then he snaps its neck and throws it off the roof.
  • Tom and Jerry: In the Gene Deitch era (1961-1962), Tom's replacement owner (who heavily resembles — and is sometimes mistakenly referred to as — Clint Clobber) is far more abusive to him than Mammy Two Shoes. As a result, he was very unpopular among fans of the series.
  • Young Justice (2010): Klarion the Witch-Boy, one of the series' more depraved evil-aligned characters, apparently wantonly abuses animals offscreen (the same kinds of animals that cats normally don't get along peacefully with). In Outsiders, he comments that torturing puppies is even more fun than torturing children in a way that clearly indicates he's done it before. In Phantoms, it's somewhat played for laughs when it's revealed that the reason Klarion is late investigating Child's magic is that he impulsively took a detour to torment some birds.

 
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Nastenka and Her Sisters

Nastenka's elder sisters are established as cruel when their first scene has them abusing a cat, while Nastenka pets and comforts it.

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