Shocking “A Dog’s Purpose” Footage Filmed Last Summer – Why Are We Seeing It Now?


The movie “A Dog’s Purpose” is set to hit the big screens next week, but with secret footage leaked by TMZ showing an alleged example of animal abuse, animal rights activists are boycotting the film.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Because Our Site doesn’t believe in profiting from animal abuse, dog in distress, we have not included the video.)

It was painful to watch – leaked footage to TMZ from the actual set shows what looks what looks like a handler forcing a German Shepherd into water made to look like rapids by his handler. The dog fights to not be put into a pool that was made into churning rapids with the use of eight outboard motors. When his handler forces him in the water, the dog’s head is seen disappearing beneath the rapids before the production team tells “cut it”.

Yes, that footage is hard to watch, but equally disturbing is that the footage was taken last summer, but only released now. Why the delay? TMZ most definitely purchased the footage from someone who was part of the movie set. Why wasn’t it passed along to animal welfare or law enforcement officers? Or, if the person in question didn’t trust these sources, why not consult a lawyer to protect yourself and get the footage to an organization who would have had the dog’s best interest at heart? And why release the footage now, one week before the film is released in theatres?

Obviously, there are a lot of questions raised, and we wouldn’t be surprised if money played a critical role in this situation.

If it turns out that the policies to protect animal actors were not followed, it brings us – as Canadians – great shame. The filming of this scene was done in Winnipeg, and in accordance with Screen Actor Guild rules, a American Humane Certified Animal Safety rep (or equivalent) was present for the film to use the “No Animals Were Harmed” certification.

The AHA rep has since been suspended pending a third-party review of the incident, and we will continue to follow progress into the allegations.

Animal Rights are calling for a boycott of the film and shelters that had been planning to screen the film as part of fundraisers are left to recover funds already invested in promoting the event.

If you’d like to reach out to the Screen Actor Guild’s toll free safety hotline, you can call (844) Safer Set/(844) 723-3773.

We’ll leave you on this note. Yes, it is our responsibility to ensure that animals are never harmed in the production of paid entertainment. It is also our responsibility to look at all of the players in this footage – not just the film’s director, the dog handler, and the video crew; but also unethical people who take advantage of loopholes in the system.

Mary Simpson

Mary Simpson is a writer and communications professional from Port Credit, Ontario. A soft touch for anything stray, she shares her century home with an eclectic collection of rescues that include Schnoodles, Lexie and Ruby James as well as tuxedo Simon, and ginger Harry. She enjoys running, politics, exploring the wine regions of Niagara and is an avid supporter of the “shop local” movement.


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