Disturbing footage has been obtained by TMZ, showing a German Shepherd being forced into a rushing current of water and almost drowning on-set of upcoming film A Dog’s Purpose.
The video shows the dog trying to escape his/her handler before being pushed down into the water and carried by the strong current over to the wall of the tank. You can see that the dog’s head slips underneath the water and the poor animal appears to be drowning, as someone yells out, “Cut it! Cut it! Cut it!”.
TMZ have reported that director Lasse Hallström was present during the filming of the scene, and have noted that at least one crew member present said they had felt “extremely disturbed” at the dog’s treatment.
A "dog's purpose" is not to be FORCED into dangerous water……
— Ricky Dillon (@RickyPDillon) January 19, 2017
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
Universal Pictures is investigating allegations of animal cruelty from the set of the family film, starring Dennis Quaid and due for US release next week.
The film’s producers Amblin Partners and Universal Pictures, have issued the following joint statement:
“Fostering a safe environment and ensuring the ethical treatment of our animal actors was of the utmost importance to those involved in making this film and we will look into the circumstances surrounding this video,” the companies said.
Animal activists, along with PETA are now encouraging people to boycott the film. Many are outraged that something like CGI or some kind of advanced technology wasn’t used for such a dangerous and physically confronting scene.