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Tear Jerker / Animal Planet Heroes

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  • If you love animals a lot, the cruelty cases can often be quite heartbreaking. Even if you don't love animals in general, numerous cases can be this.
    • One case in particular stands out: the workers rescue a near-dead horse from a neglectful owner. The man tries to save the horse as fast as he could when they get to the shelter, but it DIES in his arms. Heartbreaking indeed...
  • A frequent part of puppy mill investigations is an undercover officer adopting one of the puppies so they can have the vets look at its condition. One time the puppy didn't make it through the night, and another lived long enough to be named by and bond with the officer, who intended to adopt him, before dying suddenly.
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  • Double whammies of animal/human abuse are a big one. One episode had an elderly show dog breeder who had no longer been able to care for all of her dogs and had delegated the work to her daughter and grandsons. Her family had been taking her money for the animals' care, but leaving them in horrible squalor. One even had a broken spine. When the animal investigators showed her what had become of her beloved pets and she realized her own family had fucked her and them over, it was heartbreaking.
  • Many vets and other people in jobs where they care for animals outright refuse to view this show because it hurts too much to see the many animals in pain and being mistreated.
  • A huge proportion of fighting dogs and roosters are routinely euthanized since their Training from Hell makes them an immense danger to people and other animals, but it's mitigated into a Bittersweet Ending since known perpetrators of blood-sports are definitely going to be arrested.
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  • There are quite a few cases where the animals are being neglected in everything but the legal sense. Because they're technically being fed, have shelter, and are healthy, the cops can't do anything, even if it's obvious that the animals aren't given affection and are treated in the bare minimum.
  • One episode in Houston had a rescued mare turn out to be in the late stages of pregnancy, worrying the staff due to her poor condition. She was monitored around the clock, and when she gave birth in the middle of the night was looked after by vet staff and the investigator who'd rescued her. Sadly, she didn't live long to mother her newborn. Her orphaned foal was nursed by the investigator, and grew into a beautiful colt who was adopted. Ended on a Heartwarming Moment: When the investigator came to visit, the colt remembered his "dad-mom".


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