Animal rights group PETA has urged people to boycott upcoming movie “A Dogs Purpose” following the release of a video showing a dog being forced into churning water on the set.
“PETA is calling on dog lovers to boycott the film in order to send the message that dogs and other animals should be treated humanely, not as movie props,” read a statement on behalf of the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals.
PETA asked for boycott on Wednesday, when tmz.com released a leaked video from November 2015 — the footage of a German Shepherd being forced into turbulent water during the making of the film.
Amblin Partners and Universal Pictures issued a statement saying that the dog named Hercules in the video had been rehearsed for the water scenes but balked on the day of the shooting, so the production team did not proceed. The companies said they were reviewing the footage.
“‘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,” read a statement from the company.
“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,” the statement further said.