Heinrich Event 3 (H3) is well documented in the North Atlantic Ocean as a cooling event that occurred ca. 31 000 years ago. Deep-sea cores around the Iberian Peninsula coastline have been analysed to characterize the H3 event, but there are no data on the terrestrial response to this event. Here we present for the first time an analysis of terrestrial proxies for characterizing the H3 event, using the small-vertebrate assemblage (comprising small mammals, squamates and amphibians) from the Galls Carboners cave, an archaeo-palaeontological deposit located in the Prades mountain range in the north-eastern Iberian Peninsula. This assemblage shows the H3 event to be characterized in north-eastern Iberia by harsher and drier terrestrial conditions than today. Our results were compared with the small-vertebrate assemblage data recovered from present-day Strix aluco pellets available from this site, as well as with the general H3 event fluctuations and with other sites where the previous Heinrich events (H5 and H4) and subsequent Late Glacial Maximum have been detected in the Mediterranean and Atlantic regions of the Iberian Peninsula. Terrestrial proxies seem to follow the same climatic pattern as detected in the deep-sea cores at NorthGRIP and the Iberian margins.