A Dog’s Purpose Controversy

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Bonnie Konopka, Reporter

     Controversy arose last week when a video was leaked of a trainer forcing a German Shepard into turbulent water, on the set of the upcoming movie “A Dog’s Purpose”.

     People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has called for a boycott of the movie, but employees on set claim that they have never seen animals being abused on set.

     The American Humane Association had a representative monitoring the movie during filming, who said that the video was “misleading and edited.” The representative said that the dog, named Hercules, was never forced to swim.

     Producers claim that the video leaked is actually two separate videos. According to the film’s producer, Gavin Polone, Hercules was usually eager to jump into the pool. The video was taken when someone suggested that Hercules jump into the pool from the other side. That was when the dog began to show discomfort, which is shown in the video.

     “When he was asked to perform the stunt from the other side of the pool, which was not how he had been doing it all day, he balked,” author Bruce Cameron wrote, “The mistake was trying to dip the dog in the water to show him it was okay — the water wasn’t his issue, it was the location that was the issue, and the dog happily did the stunt when he was allowed to return to his original spot.”

     In the second part of the video, Hercules’ head went underwater for a few seconds before the scuba diver and trainer on set came to his rescue. Cameron admits that it shouldn’t have happened, but the dog was never in real danger.

     “On a movie where the mantra was the safety and comfort of the dogs, mistakes were made, and everything needs to be done to make sure those errors are not repeated. But the reason American Humane certifies that no animals were harmed during the making of the film is that no animals were harmed during the making of the film,” he said.