“A Dog’s Purpose” IS NOT to Be Thrown into the Water for a Dramatic Scene

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The internet is buzzing with reports of possible animal abuse taking place on the set of the upcoming film A Dog’s Purpose.  A video of the filming of the movie has surfaced showing someone trying to put German shepherd Hercules into some turbulent water, and he is obviously terrified.  Film crews stand there watching as the dog makes a desperate bid to stay dry.

“Well, the water is warm at least,” you can hear someone say.

The shoot was taking place outside of Winnipeg, Canada in November of 2015.  In the video, you can see a trainer repeatedly attempt to put Hercules into a pool able to simulate a very turbulent river.  The dog clearly wants no part of the rushing water, and given the look of it, it’s not hard to see why.

Eventually, the trainer gets the dog to go into the water, but he is pulled right back out.  The video is then edited to show another take where the current has forced Hercules’ head under water for a few seconds.  Crew members in the water specifically to come to his aid in a hurry if anything goes awry rush to his assistance, but the clip ends there, provoking speculation that Hercules has drowned.





“There were several days of rehearsal of the water scenes to ensure Hercules was comfortable with all of his stunts,” said a joint statement from Amblin Entertainment and Universal Pictures.  “On the day of this 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.”

The red carpet premiere and press junket for Saturday in Los Angeles has been canceled due to widespread cries to protest.

Director Lasse Hallstrom said on Twitter that he had not witnessed the events in the infamous footage, and that he was “very disturbed” by it.

“We were all committed to providing a loving, respectful and safe environment for all the animals in the film,” he continued.  “I have been a lifelong animal lover and A Dog’s Purpose is my third film about dogs.  The animals’ safety was of the utmost priority.

“I have been promised that a thorough investigation into this situation is underway and that any wrongdoing will be reported and punished.”

The team members responsible for the creation of this film are devoted animal lovers, and were just as horrified by the shot of that take as everyone else who saw it.  Producer Gavin Polone gave a thorough explanation of the situation, answering many questions, and also raising some, namely, why the person who secretly filmed the video waited over a year to release it if they were so concerned about animal welfare.

What do you think?  Cut and dry abuse case or major overreaction?

7 thoughts on ““A Dog’s Purpose” IS NOT to Be Thrown into the Water for a Dramatic Scene”

  1. That was a terrible thing to do to that GSD! With all the CG that could have been used, it’s nothing short of a crime. I hope the proper authorities were shown this, and those who perpetrated this were fined and banned from working with or owning any future pets/animals.

  2. That poor dog is absolutely terrified and at the end of the video you can see he’s going under the water and somebody has to go and get him to help save him. in my opinion if this is the dog’s reaction then maybe the scene should have been changed not the dog forced to do something he’s clearly terrified of doing. I really wanted to see this movie until the video leaked, I have read every post that’s been posted trying to keep an unbiased opinion but after everything I’ve read and seen. I ALONG WITH ALL THE PEOPLE THAT I KNOW FROM THE ANIMAL RESCUES I WORK WITH ALONG WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS WILL NOT BE AT THE MOVIE when it comes out! And it was a movie I was looking forward to going to.

  3. Having trained GSDs for water rescue, the trainer could have jumped in and called the dog into the water. That’s how I trained mine for water rescue, He would already be there to help if there was trouble. I also used favorite toys thrown in or to sink them for retrieval so they get used to being under water holding their breath. I never forced them and the dogs were very excited to do what they have been trained to do, no matter what. They lived for this joy in their lives and still do.

    I just see poor training and judgment with this incident and a bad setup to put Hercules in. Too much turbulence for being too deep a pool, and the dog was unprepared as was the trainer. It was a mistake but more on negligence that intended animal cruelty.

  4. Your a the perfect epitome of an asshole and abuser..Karma will make you experience drowning first hand ..Will not be suprised or sad when I get to watch…

  5. Just because that’s the only scene tmz got, doesn’t mean it’s the only time abuse happened. Why didn’t AHA advocate do his job and stop it. That’s what he’s there for. I won’t be seeing the movie.


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