Footage of apparent animal cruelty on movie set spurs boycott of A Dog’s Purpose

Dog,Cruelty to animals,Film,German Shepherd,Lasse Hallström,Set construction

A company that provides trained animals for movies and TV shows has come under fire after its handlers were recorded forcing an apparently distressed dog into churning water on a film set. The footage, which was published on TMZ today, was recorded during the production of family film A Dog’s Purpose and features a German Shepherd named Hercules being lowered into the water as he makes repeated attempts to climb out. A second shot shows Hercules appear to go under the water, at which point production staff shout cut, and handlers scramble to reach him. TMZ says the white water effect was achieved with eight outboard motors in a closed pool, and claims that director Lasse Hallström was present at the time. Hallström, however, tweeted that he was not on set during the shot, noting that he too was disturbed by the footage. The director said he has been promised a “thorough investigation” into what happened. The movie itself follows a consciousness searching for the meaning of life while being reincarnated as several dogs, including a German Shepherd, and is set for release on January 27th. Calls to boycott the movie came from animal rights group PETA, as well as from users of Twitter and Facebook soon after the footage was...

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