Movie production under investigation for animal abuse

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Movie production under investigation for animal abuse

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The movie “A Dog’s Purpose” was investigated for animal abuse after two videos were released to the public.

As of today, Wednesday, Feb. 8, some investigations concluded the videos were faked, while other investigations contradict those findings and are still exploring the possibility that an animal was mistreated.

The first video clip showed a dog trainer forcing a German Shepherd into a turbulent pool. The second displayed the dog being submerged at the end of the pool for several seconds as trainers and divers attempted to get him out.

The footage was taken in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in October 2015 and was just released to the public on Jan. 18 by TMZ, a celebrity news website.

The film’s producer, Gavin Polone, who described himself as an animal lover, said he is immensely saddened to be connected to an accusation of abuse to a dog according to

According to this article, Polone stated that the American Humane Association was an ineffective association that was being paid to “ensure the safety and humane treatment of animal actors.”

Polone said that although the events that were shown on TMZ’s website were inexcusable, it wasn’t the entire truth either.

Hercules, the German Shepherd playing the role of Ellie in “A Dog’s Purpose,” actually loves water and was spooked due to the fact that the camera crew tried to switch sides of the pool to get better footage, not by the water itself.

Junior Makayla Randol said it’s disappointing because the production had the potential to be a big hit until this incident came to the public’s attention.

“It’s very disappointing because the movie looks great,” Randol said. “I won’t watch it unless I find out it was the trainer’s fault, not the producer’s or the director’s. Either way it’s awful that they forced the poor pup into the water when he so obviously did not want to.”

However, it was also discovered that TMZ had edited the footage, as to not show everything.

The video was originally two different shots, but the video was changed as to leave out any footage showing the dog being cooperative. Hercules wasn’t actually in the water for more than a few seconds, contradicting what the video seems to show.

The group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has called for a boycott of the film and has been actively creating negative publicity toward the production.

On Jan. 19, Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment cancelled the movie’s premiere that was supposed to take place that weekend.

This issue has been publicized tremendously, convincing people to boycott. However, the bigger problem is that the video was held for a year and three months after it was recorded, making it appear as though money and power was the mindset, rather than the actual well-being of Hercules.

The movie was released in theater’s on Jan. 27. So far the film is going pretty well with 75 percent of audience reviews being positive according to on Wednesday, Feb. 8.

Animal abuse, regardless of the severity, is never an acceptable answer to make a profit.

Sophomore Madeline Raysin said the movie crew should have used a different method to capture film of the dog.

“I was very excited to see the movie until I heard about the German shepherd,” Raysin said. “I didn’t hear much, but it really made me feel that they could have done some sort of editing to replace the dog for some kind of animation-like scene.

“If they can make it look like a building is exploding in any action movie or make it look like magical fairies in a fantasy film, they could have definitely removed the dog and removed the abuse.”