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Animals are all pets and fauna of a particular region or area. Until Grand Theft Auto V, birds and aquatic animals were the only wildlife featured in the Grand Theft Auto series.
Grand Theft Auto III
In Grand Theft Auto III, seagulls can be seen flying overhead, usually around coastal areas. Dead fishes can be seen during the mission Gone Fishing, where Ray Machowski's partner is fishing with grenades, and dead fishes rise to the surface. A sign reading "Bitch'N' Dog Food," can be found in various subway stations.
Guys and Dogs is a musical advertised on the Liberty Tree website that is a parody of the real-life musical Guys and Dolls. Morgan Merryweather describes the feature film as "Man's best friend just got better!" Numerous posters showcasing Rats (a parody of the musical Cats) can be seen at a few subway stations. Players also have theorized them to be a reference to Ratman.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, seagulls return, and they can be shot down with a Sniper Rifle, however they offer no reward and they do not count for 100% completion. Other animals in GTA Vice City include dolphins, sharks, turtles, jellyfish and some small fish. There is also a poster in front of the InterGlobal Studio, reading that there is a 25$ fine for curbing your dog. Several pet stuffers billboards can be noticed at Little Havana and Washington Beach. A sign reading NO KIDS-DOGS AFTER 7 PM, can be seen near the bar counter at the Greasy Chopper. Posters of a whale and a seal can also be found at the Street Wannabees Leader's apartment. Tiger skin rugs and sheets are also kept at the Vercetti Estate and Tommy's Ocean View Apartment. Pigskin suits are also laundered at the Laundromats, costing 6.99$. There are also several evidences regarding crocodiles in Vice City. Although Sharks appear in Vice City, it remains idle and rather unsolid. A horse portrait can be found at the Vercetti Estate, before the takeover.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas features other birds alongside seagulls; eagles/ hawks can be seen flying low over the countryside or the desert, and dove-like white birds can be seen flying in rural areas of the state. Also, with the addition of diving underwater in GTA San Andreas, marine life can be spotted, such as schools of fish, jellyfish, sea turtles, starfish, and dolphins. All animals in GTA San Andreas are unsolid and cannot be interacted with. Seagulls return in GTA Liberty City Stories and GTA Vice City Stories, but they remain unsullied props. In GTA San Andreas, sharks are seen rarely in deep waters around San Fierro, and in Fisher's Lagoon.
The 1990 song Been Caught Stealing by the band Jane's Addiction can be heard on the in-game radio station, Radio X. Near the beginning of the song, dogs can be heard barking, and many players have mistaken the barking sounds for actual dogs in the game.
In GTA San Andreas, The Truth claims that he owns an "Astral Goat" named Herbie, however this may just be him speaking about his drug-induced hallucinations, and the Astral Goat may be simply a product of his imagination.
There is also a Ken Rosenberg's talking parrot named Tony, which can only be seen in the opening cutscenes for the missions Intensive Care, The Meat Business, and Freefall. The bird's role in the game is minor, appearing only a few times as a comic relief for when Ken Rosenberg resides in Las Venturas. The parrot utters, among others, Mafia slang terms and foul language, as well as a quote from Tony Montana: "I haven't fucked anybody over in my life who didn't have it coming to them." from the 1983 film Scarface.
A cow statue also appears in GTA San Andreas. In GTA San Andreas inside Madd Dog's crib, a tiger skin rug can also be found. A deer head can also be found at Mike Toreno's Ranch.
Grand Theft Auto IV
In Grand Theft Auto IV, the only animals are Flying Rats (pigeons). The flying rats will not move from their location but will coo and peck at the ground. They act like collectibles. There are 200 flying rats in Liberty City and can be shot, resulting in a puff of feathers and blood. Shooting all 200 Flying Rats unlocks an achievement, an Annihilator on top of a helipad in Star Junction, and is required for 100% completion. In building next to Playboy penthouse, picture of cat can be found.
Episodes from Liberty City
Seagulls once again return in The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony. These seagulls function like Flying Rats; they do not move from their location, and have to be killed to achieve 100% completion. There are 50 seagulls around the city, and can be "collected" by shooting them. In TLAD, collecting all seagulls will unlock an Innovation, both at your safehouse and deliverable by Clay. Killing all Seagulls in TBoGT spawns an APC at Yusuf Amir's construction site.
Strange growling noises heard across Liberty City are believed to be made by animals inhabiting the region.
Grand Theft Auto V
Animals return in Grand Theft Auto V, and they play a much larger role in the game. Dogs are now featured in the game. Lamar owns a Rottweiler named Chop, which Franklin can interact with in various ways, such as taking him for a walk and playing fetch with him. Many dogs can also seen around the state, sometimes being walked by other NPCs or sitting near their home.
Deer can be seen in Blaine County, usually in the woods or wilderness areas. Boars, pigs, coyotes, cougars rabbits (Enhanced version only), chickens, and cattle can be found near farms or in rural areas around the state. Cats can be found in the city and around Sandy Shores in the enhanced version of the game. There is a large variety of birds and avian species in the game. Seagulls, crows, pigeons (Enhanced version only), eagles, and hawks can be seen flying overhead, and they may occasionally land near the player and peck at the ground.
All animals can be interacted with, albeit in a limited way, but they can all be killed and they react to the player.
The Next Gen/Enhanced version of the game features The Peyote Plant, which can be consumed by the player. When the player comes to, they will seemingly find himself in the body of a random animal. The player will be able to move the animal around and (for birds) even fly it around the gameworld (using controls similar to those of flying normal fixed-wing aircraft), interacting with pedestrians and other animals.