Warning: Distressing footage of alleged animal abuse.
Film producers have come under fire for alleged animal abuse on set, after footage appears to show a dog being forced into running water against its will.
The leaked footage, published by TMZ, seems to show a safety representative from the American Humane Association forcibly putting the reluctant animal into a mock river on set of A Dog’s Purpose.
The organisation are responsible for the safety and humane treatment of animal actors on film sets, but these distressing scenes have sparked outrage from animal lovers and animal rights activists everywhere.
A spokesperson from the American Humane Association told TMZ:
We are placing the safety representative who was on the set on administrative leave immediately and are bringing in an independent third party to conduct an investigation into this matter.
Since the accusations, film producers have spoken out explaining the footage, telling TMZ that the dog – a German Shepherd named Hercules – was not forced to complete the scene, and shooting only resumed when he was comfortable.
The statement from Amblin Partners and Universal Pictures continued to assert the studios have always been determined to foster the ethical treatment of actor animals and are investigating the matter.
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.
The movie is a celebration of the special connection between humans and their dogs. And in the spirit of this relationship, the Amblin production team followed rigorous protocols to foster an ethical and safe environment for the animals.
The full investigation into the mater of alleged animal abuse is under way, and Hercules is ‘healthy and happy’.
PETA have since called for a boycott of the film in light of this disgraceful act against an innocent animal’s freewill.