When TMZ posted alleged behind-the-scenes footage of the upcoming film, A Dog’s Purposepeople were shocked. Because in the video we see a German Shepherd named Hercules being constantly forced in and out of the rushing water.
See for yourself:
In the video, Hercules clearly doesn’t want to get into the water, but the handler keeps pushing him in and pulling him out.
It’s made even worse by a commenter’s voice in the video who says, “Well, he ain’t going to calm down until he goes in the water,” proof that the dog’s protestations were also recognized by the film crew.
“Just got to throw him in,” the commenter continued. The dog is pushed into the turbulent pool and is immediately covered, causing people to rush to his aid.
Breaks my heart that I won't be seeing "A Dog's Purpose" because the film makers chose to abuse the dogs in the films. #BoycottADogsPurpose
— Shelby (@_ShelbyJ) January 18, 2017
The shocking footage drew the ire of many people online, who are calling for a boycott of the film.
#BoycottADogsPurpose – animal cruelty for entertainment is vile. A (terrified) dog's purpose is not to make you millions in the box office.
— Leanne Woodfull (@LeanneWoodfull) January 18, 2017
if you support "A Dog's Purpose" after seeing that video, you're just as trash as the people who did that to the poor dog.
— AmberⓋ (@ambernays) January 19, 2017
People pointed out the irony of the movie’s title and the behind-the-scenes treatment of the animals performing in the film.
A "dog's purpose" is not to be FORCED into dangerous water……
— Ricky Dillon (@RickyPDillon) January 19, 2017
In case you were deciding to go watch "A Dog's Purpose" this month. Don't support it after footage of a scared dog was forced in the water 😡 pic.twitter.com/EwQo4eoelH
— Carlito 봇 (@ayeecarlito) January 18, 2017
what the FUCK do not go see A Dog's Purpose, they literally abused a dog during filming to make a movie glorifying dogs I'm so pissed
— kayla (@goatbabies_) January 18, 2017
— kylizzle (@kylierosetierr1) January 19, 2017
#BoycottADogsPurpose was pumped to see this film until i learned the truth behind it. definitely not seeing this now. absolutely disgusted
— ashley✨ (@ashleyajfox) January 19, 2017
animal cruelty needs to
stop stop #boycottadogspurpose
— ❂Ashley Detterman❂ (@ssmasshh) January 19, 2017
Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment, producers of the upcoming film, aver that no animals were mistreated during filming.
“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 Hercules, as well as for all of the other dogs featured throughout the production of the film. There were several days of rehearsal of the water scenes to ensure Hercules was comfortable with all of the stunts. 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.”
It’s worth noting, however, that someone from the American Humane Association was on set when Hercules was being tossed into the water, and they were suspended after the video was leaked.
PETA has also released a statement denouncing the film.
“The apparent on-set incident, which is hard to watch, may come as an unwelcome surprise to unsuspecting moviegoers who care about dogs — especially given the title of the film, based on the hit book of the same name.”
I know that video footage can sometimes be edited in order to make a point, but it’s hard to argue that it wasn’t clear the German Shepherd didn’t want to go into the water. Now you could write that off as the dog being scared of something unnecessarily, but the second half of the video, when he nearly drowns, is hard to not be disgusted with.