Magistrates shook their heads in disgust as they were watched footage of Bellamy the fox being stamped to death.
All three men were caught on CCTV kicking, stamping and smashing the animal against a wall in an unprovoked attack in a Tesco car park.
Jamie Davies, 19, Jason Jones, 25, and Daniel Silvestros, 22, all admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a fox by stamping, beating and kicking.
They were all sentenced to 20 weeks’ jail, suspended for a year, at Rhondda Magistrates’ Court today.
Afterwards, the RSPCA welcomed the outcome, saying it hoped it sent out a clear message that such acts will not be tolerated.
The men, from the Rhondda Cynon Taf area, were out on a drinking spree in September last year.
Despite having already drunk up to eight pints of beer each, they called in at a Tesco superstore in Upper Boat, Pontypridd, in the early hours of the morning to buy more alcohol.
“It appears that Daniel Silvestros chased and caught a fox that was in the car park. It had been hiding just behind a parked car,” Aled Watkins, for the RSPCA, told the court.
“It appears from statements taken from members of staff that the fox was a friendly fox and regularly approached the superstore.
“They occasionally fed it and had even given it a name, which may account for the reason it was able to be caught.”
He added: “Daniel Silvestros caught the fox by the tail and went on to swing it from side to side.”
He said that Silvestros, who dropped the animal after 10 seconds, later told police the fox was “going nuts” as he swung it.
Mr Watkins said Jones then picked it up and, in a “very barbaric act, swung the fox from behind his back head-first into a wall, then swung again, striking it to the floor”.
He said Davies then attacked the “now incapacitated fox, kicking and stamping on its head. Having done that he picked it up and dropped it in the road”.
He said staff working at the 24-hour superstore were shocked and upset by what they saw, with one woman openly crying.
“The fox was bleeding from the mouth and whimpering in pain. Somebody told the boys to ‘clear off’ because they could see it was still alive and they appeared to want to attack it again.”
Mr Watkins said the fox died within 20 minutes and later examination found it had ruptures to the lungs, kidneys, liver and abdomen.
All three men were arrested two weeks later after being traced from the car park’s CCTV footage.
They were also ordered to carry out 200 hours community work, banned from keeping animals for 10 years and ordered to pay £600 costs each.