We had a feeling this was coming…
Yesterday, TMZ published a chilling clip capturing an animal trainer shoving a visibly frightened German Shepherd named Hercules into a pool full of water that was being churned by EIGHT motors on the set of A Dog's Purpose.
In a swift response from PETA, the animal rights' organization is calling for a boycott of the movie "in order to send the message that dogs and other animals should be treated humanely, not as movie props."
Related: Alicia Silverstone Is A Naked Wood Nymph For PETA
The statement given to THR reads:
"PETA is calling on dog lovers to boycott the film 'A Dog's Purpose' in order to send the message that dogs and other animals should be treated humanely, not as movie props. PETA's investigation at BAU revealed that animals are denied veterinary care, forced to sleep outdoors in the cold without bedding for warmth, made to live in filthy conditions, and more."
Not to mention, the group says Hercules is owned and supplied by Birds & Animals Unlimited, a facility with a history of federal Animal Welfare Act violations. Yikes.
It didn't take long for official statements from various involved parties to start chiming in…
The American Humane Association (which was responsible for monitoring the film's production) claims to be "disturbed and concerned" about the footage:
"When the dog showed signs of resistance to jumping in the water, the scene should have been stopped. 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."
Director Lasse Hallström wrote in a seemingly now-deleted post to Facebook:
"I did not witness these actions, which are unacceptable and would never happen with my knowledge. We were all committed to providing a loving, respectful and safe environment for all the animals in the film. I have been promised that a thorough investigation into this situation is underway and that any wrongdoing will be reported and punished."
Related: PETA Wants You To 'Grab A Pussy'
Amblin Entertainment and Universal added:
"A Dog's Purpose, produced by Amblin Entertainment and distributed by Universal Pictures, 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. While we continue to review the circumstances shown in the edited footage, Amblin is confident that great care and concern was shown for the German Shepherd Hercules, as well as for all of the other dogs featured throughout the production of the film. There were several days of rehearsal of the water scenes to ensure Hercules was comfortable with all of the stunts. 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. Hercules is happy and healthy."
And finally, Josh Gad — who voices the featured pup in the flick — tweeted:
We'll keep you updated as the investigation progresses.
Is this enough to keep U from seeing the movie, Perezcious readers?? Let us know in the comments!
[Image via Universal Pictures.]
Tags: a dogs purpose, animal cruelty, animal rights, controversy, dog, facebook, film flickers, german shepherd, icky icky poo, peta, scary!