Last week, TMZ aired a video of a German Shepherd allegedly being dunked into water against its will during the filming for the upcoming movie, A Dog’s Purpose. PETA immediately denounced the film, causing such a backlash that Universal decided to cancel the premier. Although the video is questionable, many on the scene for the length of the filming have spoken up in defense of the treatment of the animals on set.
PETA’s attack claims that the dog was horrified and that the footage is akin to a babysitter hitting a child — a serious crime. While the dog does look uncomfortable, W. Bruce Cameron, the source material’s author, explains that the German Shepherd is actually quite fond of the water. Hercules, the dog in question, had been playing and swimming in the very same water earlier that day. It was when they tried to perform the stunt in a different area of the pool that the Hercules became frightened. When speaking with Independent, Cameron reported, “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.”
Actor Dennis Quaid spoke with Ellen Degeneres on her talkshow, explaining that the “whistleblowers” who submitted the video to TMZ are not truly concerned with Hercules and the rest of the animals on the set. This footage was taken in 2015, so why would someone worried about the safety of the animals wait so long to air the footage? We agree that it doesn’t make sense and it does seem that whoever sent the video in wants more to start drama that actually help the animals. It’s been almost two years – what help will this bring the dogs in the film now? Still, we can’t argue that the footage is uncomfortable to watch and Hercules should not have been forced into that water.
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