Animal Cruelty: Dog Forced To Swim On The Set Of ‘A Dog’s Purpose’

“Dog lovers should boycott the film "to send the message that dogs & other animals should be treated humanely, not as props."

Hollywood filmmakers have come under fire after on-set footage of the film “A Dog’s Purpose” went viral.  A minute long video posted online by a celebrity site shows a German shepherd too terrified to get into a pool and a trainer forcing the dog into the turbulent water.

The film which is slated to release on Jan. 27 is a heartwarming story about the deep bonds between humans and their dogs. However, the film is now facing calls for boycott after the footage of apparent animal cruelty surfaced online.

Universal Pictures, which is releasing the film, said that they are investigating the incident. As per reports, the project’s director Lasse Hallström was present when the video was recorded and at least one member of the crew was extremely disturbed by the dog’s treatment during the scene

Josh Gad, who lends his voice to a dog in the film, said he has asked the studio and production team for an explanation.  



In a statement, producer Amblin Entertainment and distributor Universal Pictures said, “The production team followed rigorous protocols to foster an ethical and safe environment for the animals. While we continue to review the circumstances shown in the edited footage, Amblin is confident that great care and concern was shown for the German shepherd, as well as for all of the other dogs featured throughout the production of the film.”

The statement confirms that the dog, Hercules, was hesitant to perform the water stunt.

"On the day of the shoot, Hercules did not want to perform the stunt portrayed on the tape so the Amblin production team did not proceed with filming that shot," read the statement.

Meanwhile, an animal rights advocacy group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) immediately condemned the video and called for a boycott of the film.

Lisa Lange, PETA senior vice president said in a statement, “New footage shows a terrified dog who is forced into churning water on set. At one point, a dog who is in danger of drowning has to be rescued.”

“PETA is calling on dog lovers to boycott the film in order to send the message that dogs and other animals should be treated humanely, not as movie props,” said the statement.

PETA also posted a video contrasting the footage of the video with the finished footage in the film’s trailer, which seems to show the animal diving into the water to save a drowning child.



Twitter users were quick to react and soon #BoycottADogsPurpose emerged on Twitter:







Banner / Thumbnail Credit : Reuters

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