If you have a shred of human decency, you’ll agree that “a dog’s purpose” is not to get abused just to help Hollywood make a buck. Thankfully, it looks like a previously released video that appeared to show a dog on the set of the film A Dog’s Purpose being abused may have been edited to make things look far worse than they actually were, according to a new report.
On Friday, American Humane (not to be confused with the Humane Society), the group responsible for monitoring the treatment of animals on the set of the film, released a statement effectively absolving the filmmakers of what many had thought was abusive treatment of dogs on set.
“An independent, third-party investigation conducted by a respected animal cruelty expert into the treatment of animals in the filming of ‘A Dogs Purpose’ concluded that an edited video given to the gossip site TMZ mischaracterized the events on the set,” read the statement from the group.
“The decisions by the individual or individuals who captured and deliberately edited the footage, and then waited longer than 15 months to release the manipulated video only days before the movies premiere, raise serious questions about their motives and ethics.”
“An edited video given to the gossip site TMZ mischaracterized the events on the set.”
Citing findings from an independent investigation, the group claims that no animals were harmed in the scenes shown, and proper safety measures were adhered to during shooting.
Contrary to what the video appears to show, according to the group, the dog was not forced to swim in water at anytime. In fact, the group claims, during the last scene, “the dog wanted to go back in the water. Still, out of an abundance of caution, American Humane stopped filming of any more scenes with the dog.”
Nevertheless, the initial controversy has likely irrevocably impacted the film’s chances of major success. Following the release of the edited footage, the film’s original premiere was canceled by Universal Pictures, the studio distributing the film, and protests erupted at various theaters around the country where the film was scheduled to be shown.
Additionally, Dr. Kwane Stewart, the organization’s chief veterinary officer, said, “It is disappointing that the public was misled by a manufactured controversy promoted by a radical organization like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [PETA] with a mission to remove animals from films and other parts of our lives.”