Entertainment, Review

A Dog’s Purpose: dog’s apparent abuse on film set causes outrage

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By Joanna Shaw

Image: Joe Lederer/Universal

Based on the novel by W. Bruce Cameron, A Dog’s Purpose follows a dog who is reincarnated into different bodies to live with different people.

As heart warming as the story sounds, the movie has come under harsh criticism, anger and even a call for boycott after an on-set video was released. The video shows one of the canine cast, a German Shepherd named Hercules, struggling out of a man’s arms while his trainer shouts him from the other side of a large wave machine. The dog seems distressed as the man attempts multiple times to get him to swim. Once Hercules is in the water, he seems to eventually lose his energy, and sinks under the water. The trainer panics and yells to the crew to cut filming.

Warning: the video contains distressing images:

The minute long video, released by American news channel TMZ, has caused outrage on social media, with many Twitter users expressing their shock and anger using the hashtag #BoycottADogsPurpose

Another tweet simply said, “DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE.” Even the film’s cast seem to be horrified at the treatment of the dog. Josh Gad, who voices the multiple dogs in the movie, reportedly responded to the video saying he was, “Shaken […] As the proud owner of a rescue dog and a fervent supporter of organizations like PETA, I have reached out to the production team and studio to ask for an explanation for these disturbing images.”

Although this video looks distressing, it must be kept in mind that it has been edited, as it cuts in certain places. However, what is seen is enough to provoke sadness and worry in any dog owner or lover. It also questions the prospect of animals being used in the film industry in the future. By law, all films involving any kind of scene with an animal must be observed by a member of either the RSPCA, or larger organisations such as the American Humane Society. They ensure that the animals get frequent breaks, enough food and water, and are generally cared for on and off set. American Humane have reportedly opened an investigation.




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