UPDATED: Director Iasse Hallstrom's statement has been added to the very end of this article after the videos.
It’s certainly not the dog’s purpose in life.
Amblin Entertainment and Universal Pictures are in hot water after a TMZ video has surfaced that appears the dog trainer was trying to force a German Shepherd into warm flowing water in the upcoming movie A DOG’S PURPOSE.
In addition, the clip also showed the dog briefly submerged underwater and feared to briefly drowned.
Hollywood has a very stringent policy in terms of the treatment of animals. Although this is an edited clip, it can look like animal abuse.
In a statement to Deadline, producer Gavin Polone stated that he was “horrified” at the video from a second unit on the set. He also claimed to be an animal rights activist and written about fair treatment of animals.
Josh Gad, who voiced all the dogs in the film, was also shocked from his viewing of the following clip.
He took to Twitter to release his personal statement that he was “shaken and sad” over this incident. He is an owner of a rescued dog and took the assignment, because he was touched and moved over the storyline of this movie. He, too, demands an explanation for this disturbing video. Gad has never been on set to witness any production shooting.
Here’s his full release:
Now PETA is getting involved by asking movie audiences to boycott A DOG’S PURPOSE. The organization told Deadline that they were trying to expose BAU, the company that rents out animals to movie productions, for animal abuse for some time. In the past, the company has lend their animals to THE HANGOVER, MARLEY & ME, GAME OF THRONES, and PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN.
American Humane Association has opened up an investigation into this matter. Their representative, who witnessed the event, has been suspended for not reporting this incident. The organization is suppose to validate that “no animals are harmed in the making of the film.” An independent third party will lead the investigation.
A DOG’S PURPOSE also stars Britt Robertson and Dennis Quaid. It follows the story about a dog looking for his purpose in life over several lifetimes and different owners.
The dogs were played by a Golden Retriever named Trip, a German Shepherd named Shadow, a Corgi named Mailo and a St. Bernard-Australian Shepherd mix named Bolt.
The film will be released in theaters on January 26.
Watch the disturbing TMZ video below.
UPDATED: Director Iasse Hallstrom has issued a statement via Twitter. He indicated his dismay and personally did not witness the event. See his Tweets below.
Source: TMZ, Deadline, CNN, PETA, Animal Humane Association