Releasing next Friday the movie “A Dog’s Purpose” fell into some controversy this past week with the release of a video that appears to show some animal cruelty to a Shephard named Hercules. There has been an investigation launched into the conduct on set the day of the video.
Watch it here:
Video from TMZ and Youtube
Since the videos release many comments have come out from the studio/producers/director questioning what was displayed.
After reviewing the full footage of the video author of the book and co-screenwriter W. Bruce Cameron released the following statement.
“First I want to thank everyone—and there have been literally thousands of you—who have written to express support. Your words and thoughts mean the world to us.
I found the video we’ve all seen to be shocking because when I was on set, the ethic of everyone was the safety and comfort of the dogs.
If the people who shot and edited the video thought something was wrong, why did they wait fifteen months to do anything about it, instead of immediately going to the authorities?
I have since viewed footage taken of the day in question, when I wasn’t there, and it paints an entirely different picture.
The written commentary accompanying the edited video mischaracterizes what happened. The dog was not terrified and not thrown in the water—I’ve seen footage of Hercules earlier that day joyfully jumping in the pool. When he was asked to perform the stunt from the other side of the pool, which was not how he had been doing it all day, he balked. The mistake was trying to dip the dog in the water to show him it was okay—the water wasn’t his issue, it was the location that was the issue, and the dog happily did the stunt when he was allowed to return to his original spot.
I also didn’t like it when Hercules’s head briefly went under water, but there was a scuba diver and a trainer in the pool to protect him. He loves the water, wasn’t in danger, and wasn’t upset.
On a movie where the mantra was the safety and comfort of the dogs, mistakes were made, and everything needs to be done to make sure those errors are not repeated. But the reason American Humane certifies that no animals were harmed during the making of the film is that no animals were harmed during the making of the film.
I celebrate animal rescue and am proud of the values that show up in A Dog’s Purpose.”
It is hard to argue that the video has been cut together in such a way as to tell a story. It shows the dog being forced into the pool and then going under in another scene. It certainly appears to be animal cruelty. At the very list there were missteps on the part of the people handling the dog.
However you never see the animal being released into the water nor do you see how it behaved before or after it actually went in. It is troublesome to see an incomplete video released to the media, it is very easy to misinterpret what happened, and without the full video we’ll never know the true story.
It is believed once the investigation is completed the full video will be released to the public. But since the film releases on Friday it may be too late to stop the public relations disaster for ‘A Dog’s Purpose’.