Animal rights groups are calling on the public to boycott the upcoming film “A Dog’s Purpose” after a pre-production video showing an improper treatment of a German Shepherd leaked online. The video shows the terrified dog being forced to jump into turbulent water.
Earlier today, TMZ posted a video taken from the set of the film on YouTube. The clip shows a German Shepherd standing with its trainer near a pool filled with rushing water. Based on the trailer for the film, the pool was meant to replicate the conditions of a turbulent river.
As seen in the video, it’s obvious that the dog doesn’t want to jump into the water. However, this didn’t stop the trainer from carrying the dog and just dropping him in.
Once the dog was in the water, the shooting for the film resumed. However, during the final seconds of the clip, the dog can be seen at the edge of the pool, presumably pinned by the churning water, which was produced by outboard motors. After the dog’s head went under water, members of the production crew stopped filming while another trainer, who was also in the water, rushed in to save the animal from drowning.
After viewing the clip, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or PETA called for a boycott against the film. According to the organization, the video shows how production companies often treat animals as movie props and not as living beings just to get the shots that they want, USA Today reported.
PETA, along with the American Humane Association have already reached out to the film’s distributor Universal Pictures and production firms Amblin Partners, DreamWorks Pictures, Pariah and Walden Media to investigate the controversial video.
As noted by the American Humane Association, the film crew should have immediately stopped filming the scene since the dog showed clear signs that it did not want to go into the water.