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A Dog’s Purpose Animal Cruelty Video: Terrified Dog Forced Into Water

By Dr. Andrew Jones

This is the controversial video which shows one of the dogs in the upcoming film “A Dog’s Purpose” desperately resisting shooting a risky scene, but chilling footage shows filmmakers apparently forcing the animal into rushing water.

Clearly this is animal cruelty- and not acceptable.

In my opinion charges are warranted by the ASPCA

Tell me what you think.

Dr Andrew


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Topics: Dog Care, Pet Care | 50 Comments »

50 Responses to “A Dog’s Purpose Animal Cruelty Video: Terrified Dog Forced Into Water”

  1. Avatar Donna Brant Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 5:59 am

    This is unacceptable.

  2. Avatar Patricia Armstrong Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 6:00 am

    This just hurt my heart and I will not be seeing the movie.

  3. Avatar Kathleen Bryant-Rock Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 6:01 am

    I think that is terrible and they should be reported to the ASPCA. Scaring that poor dog to death just for a video shoot is ridicules and uncalled for.

  4. Avatar Jo Ann Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 6:06 am

    Where was the on set Humane rep? This is awful!!! I loved the books, and was so looking forward to seeing the movie. Now–not so much.

  5. Avatar Dianne Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 6:07 am

    It is terrible and should be reported to the ASPCA that scene shouldn’t be in a movie the poor dog was petrified, something like this is ridicules and uncalled for.

  6. Avatar Marcia Cummings Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 6:07 am

    Charges are definitely warranted. What animals have to endure for man’s vanity… disgusting!!! Throw the jerk in!!!

  7. Avatar Debbie Ganncorti Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 6:13 am

    I find this clip disgusting and uncalled for just to get a shot for a movie. Yes this is animal cruelty and should be reported ASPCA. Hope people boycott this movie.

  8. Avatar Tomi Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 6:19 am

    The onset rep from the Animal Humane Association (or Society, not sure which) has been suspended, they never should have allowed this to happen. I read that the company who “handled” and “trained” the dogs for this movie were suspected of animal cruelty for some time, this poor dog had to serve as evidence and confirmation of their cruelty. Sickening. I definitely won’t support this film in any way.

  9. Avatar Mary Cox Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 6:19 am

    Horrible!!! I have just signed a petition with Care2petitions.com Please look them up sign petition to boycott this movie!!!! and sign & share on f/b etc as I have shared this on my f/b.
    The on set humane rep, was probably paid off to turn a blind eye!!! they should all be charged with animal cruelty!! Sad, Sad, Sad..this is inhumane

  10. Avatar Linda Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 6:21 am

    I thought they always had an animal advocate on location. I am very disgusted that they continued to force the dog into the water, when clearly he was terrified. Charges should be brought against the production AND trainer!

  11. Avatar Dorothy Atwater Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 6:21 am

    Someone should throw those horrible people into icy water! I hope everyone protests by NOT going to see this film!

  12. Avatar Stephanie Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 6:23 am

    I don’t agree. Yes the dog is scared but to call this footage “chilling” is ridiculous. The handler is very patient, let’s the dog test the waters and gently lowers him in. Yes the dog is scared but this is a far cry from abuse. People should get so upset about real animal abuse and instead of boycotting a sweet movie, go adopt an animal from the shelter who suffered legit abuse.

  13. Avatar terry Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 6:23 am

    I was planning on taking my 10 yr old granddaughter to this movie. Having trained dogs in the past this disturbed me. I will not see this movie this is cruelty no animal should be forced into this type of situation.

  14. Avatar Andrew Orth Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 6:26 am

    What I see is a dog owner who did not have a trained dog and should never have brought it to the set to begin with. Clearly that German shepherd was uncomfortable being around rushing waters and that film environment. So the selection from the beginning was wrong. There are animals out there who could have performed on command but in this case I think your right and that the ASPCA should look into this. This bad dog owner should be held accountable for taking his untrained dog on the set he had no business being on . It is also the responsibility of the casting agent to see if this dog was capable to perform these tasks on que. Many times dog owners say their dogs are trained when in fact they’re not and putting your dog to a task he is incapable of doing is so wrong. But everybody wants to be in the movies and everyone who has a dog wants their dog in one too.

  15. Avatar Theresa Jefferson Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 6:31 am

    I think this is terrible, I thought they should have thown the
    Dog handler in instead .

  16. Avatar Sharon Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 6:33 am

    This is awful! There should definitely be charges filed against them. That poor dog was drowning at the end of that pool. I can’t believe this was allowed to be done to the dog. So very sad

  17. Avatar Anne David Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 6:46 am

    I too think this should not have taken place. I remember my dog being scared of stairs. We took the necessary time to accustom our dog to the stairs, taking him in our arms on step down at a time, sitting there with him, letting him understand that he was not going to be forces and that stairs were no big deal. Eventually, he did it himself, of his own free will and… it really was not a big deal. But a dog must learn to overcome fear. It’s normal for any sensible being to be unsure when encountering something new. They should have taken a dog who LOVES water to do the scene, a Labrador retriever for example, who would have be made gradually and at the animal own pace, accustomed to the situation. Then, they can shoot the scene. Absolutely not the way they did it. At the end… the woman in the water called the dog: “Here boy! Here boy!” But the dog goes under… even though they evidently rushed to get the dog, we don’t see more. There are ways to do things and their way is cleary not the way I would have done it. I would have picked a dog who cannot wait to go in the water. And believe me big time when I say, that I would have been the one to tell him when it’s time to jump in and my husband would have been under water at the other end with air bottles (where clealy the water current would push the dog at the under end of the pool) to support the dog out of the water when “ok, CUT”

  18. Avatar Karen Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 6:48 am

    Yet another stark example of the vile & disgraceful nature of humankind. Little wonder some of us much prefer the company of dogs over our “fellow man.” Though this poor dog may not know it, he is a hero. For he has helped expose the obvious abuse that, no doubt, occurred throughout the entire process of making this movie and now, hopefully, people will do what’s right and boycott it!!!!

  19. Avatar Ken Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 6:56 am

    Not good they should have their butts kicked. Not funny and very mean.

  20. Avatar Judith A Moore Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 6:58 am

    Unacceptable. The dog was terrified. So dumping him in a rapid water and his head going under down at the end is OK just to get that perfect shot for a movie? They do not THINK as a Human does and know it will be OK it’s just a movie. This will affect this animal for life.

  21. Avatar Sylvie Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 7:02 am


  22. Avatar Deanne Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 7:06 am

    Outrageous and unacceptable Though I was going to see movie, I will not now. I wil not support any production company treats animals this way. The dog should have bit that TRAINER.

  23. Avatar Irene Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 7:29 am

    My heart just leaped out with fear for that sweet dog. I hope he didn’t drown. Plus this movie is for the kindness of carrying on reincarnation of the soul of the original dog. Supposed to be sweet and all but the behind the scenes is outrageous. To me they are always puppies as I have one and it is just terrible.

  24. Avatar Connie Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 7:48 am

    I felt sick watching these videos. This poor dog was scared to death, and rightly so based on the second video. Definite example of abuse, maybe not as severe as other forms of abuse, but if we turn a blind eye to this, they will think it’s ok.

  25. Avatar Fran Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 8:25 am

    Over the years I have worked on film sets and photoshoots with my dogs. I am a trainer/behaviourist and have trained my dogs to a very high level. I would NEVER EVER accept anything like this happening to my dogs. Some producers will bleed everything they can from a dog, unless you put your foot down and tell them enough is enough, but I can tell you now that if I was shown this on a set and told my dog would have to go in that water, I would probably have pushed the producer in myself and then recorded his fear for the entire world to witness. Putting a dog to a state where it is literally in fear of it’s existence for a film and therefore profit, it beyond belief. The stress could also have caused a dog, particularly a GSD to suffer heart failure, and the trauma could indeed still cause heart failure at a later date, or even be the trigger of some other life threatening condition. I seriously CANNOT believe the mentality of people who would even dream this up, yet alone do it. What the hell is the matter with them?!!! As for the people who don’t care and still want to watch the film – I hope karma deals with you. I have come across some of the GSD trainers and their methods beggar belief, so in all honesty – why am I surprised that some of them would have accepted this? They breed these dogs to look like freaks these days, and regard that freaky shape as being great beauty, power and strength. There has got to be something not right in their heads.

  26. Avatar Amy Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 8:33 am

    That was a disturbing video, the dog was clearly terrified and his survival instincts were kicking in. You can’t blame him the water looked scary to me. I wonder why they didn’t try having him go into calm water and swim to the turbulent area? I guess my point is, why force it and scare the animal for that exact shot, seems to me working with animals requires flexibility, patience and kindness none of this is evident in the video.

  27. Avatar Marianne Mayer Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Definitely animal cruelty. That dog was terrified and should never have been forced into the water. I will boycott the movie and ask all my friends to boycott too. Totally unacceptable.

  28. Avatar Ann Vanderlaan Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 11:14 am

    I had hopes for this movie…. Supposedly the Humane Society observer/rep has been suspended. But I am disappointed and discouraged that a situation that could have been surmounted by habituation and training was forced upon the dog, probably just to save $$$ and time.

  29. Avatar Lesley Powell Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 11:33 am

    I rewatched the end a couple of times as I could tell there was some panic but could not see what had happened. It appears to me that once the dog was swept up against the end wall of the ‘pool’ that it went totally under the water. Who was the brainiac that devised this? The current was obviously way too strong – did no one there actually look at the violence of the water? Even the two people in the water were struggling to move to get over to the dog. Did they manage to get there in time, or even find him in that turbulence? Did the dog survive? The person who was doing the talking, unbelievably, found the whole experience of the dog’s terror highly amusing. I do think that the people responsible, including the owner for allowing his/her dog to be put in this terrible situation, should be prosecuted for extreme cruelty. That dog almost drowned (hopefully it was ‘almost’ and not actual) and suffered the absolute terror that any living creature – humans being no different – would feel. The dog had more sense than all of those people there put together – he/she realized that the violence of the water was way too extreme too handle. When the people in the water could barely fight against the current with their feet on the bottom, what did they think the dog would be able to do? This kind of stupidity makes me angry as well as upset. If it were someone doing this to a dog for fun, or for no other reason than being deliberately cruel, everyone would be up in arms and the person would be prosecuted for animal cruelty. Well, guess what, perpetrators? The end result for the animal is the same – whatever the reason that this horrible event occurred. This whole situation was disgraceful – shame on absolutely everyone involved!

  30. Avatar karen diamond Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 11:40 am

    I’m so upset by this. I read the book and LOVED it and felt it gave me insight into my own doggies. I was anxiously awaiting the release of the movie. I’m genuinely shocked that the HSUS (or Canadian version) would allow this and have written to them asking for an explanation. The book clearly calls for a German Shepherd in this part, but why not hire one who likes the water. This poor creature was clearly terrified and shouldn’t have been used. It does seem clear, though, that the handler was at least a little apprehensive about doing this. I only saw the first video so don’t know the outcome, but feel certain that if the dog had been physically hurt, there would be an even louder outcry. Please, Wayne Pacelle, don’t let this happen ever again.

  31. Avatar Barbara McPherson Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    This is terrible. I feel so sorry for the dog.

  32. Avatar Peg Hambrecht Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    This is definitely NOT ACCEPTABLE!!! I was going to watch it with a friend but I’m telling her about this and everyone else too! I won’t pay a dime to anyone that treats animals like this! I would fully support them being prosecuted!!! FORCING THAT DOG into the water was INHUMANE!

  33. Avatar Georgianna rogers Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    This is very disturbing and persons or people should be held responsible and punished!!
    My heart breaks for what this dog went through….

  34. Avatar Wendy Davidson Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    Very disturbing that this was allowed to happen. And just by the way I don’t think you will find many German Shepherds who like the water … because of the weight of their double coats when they are wet they are very wary of water.
    I would like to put a lead vest on the jerk who put the dog in the water and see how he feels!!

  35. Avatar Ella Kwan Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Definitely animal cruelty punishable by law. Using animals in film production must be governed by the same or higher ethical standards as using humans, becasuse they cannot speak for themselves. We urgently need legislation in this regard if we really do not want the same atrocity to happen again.

  36. Avatar Maye S. Matias Says:
    January 20th, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    My heart is bleeding. Clearly, the GS did not want to go down the rushing water but was pushed down a number of times by the handler. My heart cries for the poor GS who clearly was asking for help from the people around but nobody cared. At the end of the pool, the GS disappeared. All the people responsible for this disgusting shoot must be made answerable by the governing body on animal cruelty. My heart is bleeding.

  37. Avatar carolyn bird Says:
    January 21st, 2017 at 3:12 am

    This is disgusting and very disturbing to watch, I will not be going to the movie and will be asking my friends to boycott it as well. This is a definite act of cruelty, the film makers should face the full force of the law. Even more disturbing was that the person putting the dog in the water and the bystanders thought the dog’s fear was amusing. What a bunch of jerks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  38. Avatar Franscesca Says:
    January 21st, 2017 at 4:06 am

    INHUMAN BEHAVIOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  39. Avatar Franscesca Says:
    January 21st, 2017 at 4:21 am

    INHUMAN BEHAVIOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. Avatar Ann Says:
    January 21st, 2017 at 8:23 am

    This was so hard to watch. I felt so sorry for that dog. He should never have been forced into that water since he was clearly terrified. I wanted to see the movie before watching what they put him through but now I don’t and won’t see this movie.

  41. Avatar Iris Menachem Says:
    January 21st, 2017 at 9:34 am

    This is animal abuse & these abusers should be punished. I would like to know if W. Bruce Cameron was a partner to this cruelty. I think the movie should be banned.

  42. Avatar moon Says:
    January 21st, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    get a dog who isn’t afraid and wants to jump in….this is cruel…. why doesn’t the guy go in with the dog and hey that dog almost drowned because he is not used to these waters!!!! i don’t think these peope meant to be cruel but i think they are not animal people who cares or understand animals at all.

  43. Avatar ed Says:
    January 22nd, 2017 at 10:21 am

    Throw film makers in. While they are still wet,throw them in jail.

  44. Avatar Princess Buffy Says:
    January 22nd, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    This is absolutely disgraceful, definitely animal abuse.

  45. Avatar Jeannine Belliveau Says:
    January 23rd, 2017 at 8:29 am

    I will not watch, or support a Hollywood movie that involves cruelty of any sort. I wonder how many other animals went through abuse to make movies that we may have supported without that knowledge. They should be forced to Ban the movie!!! That’s making money on Animal Abuse! I have Three Husky dogs and my love for All Dogs is Infinity. They should all be Fined Big Time and they should be Restricted of never being allowed to use animals in movies ever again.

  46. Avatar Karen Says:
    January 23rd, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    A dose of his own medicine would be far less than the trainer should suffer, he should be in prison, if that was a child he would get life.
    So where is she and what happened to him?

  47. Avatar karen diamond Says:
    January 29th, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    I’m not defending this, but I did a little investigation and found out: the dog (Hercules) was trained to go in the water on the right side and they suddenly changed it to the left side, There were platforms under the water for him to stand on as well as two divers. Hercules was and is fine now. PETA published this, 15 months after it was shot and a week before the movie premiere. Why? PETA has a “shelter” where they kill 80-90% of the dogs they take in. They don’t believe dogs should be pets. The AHA, not the ASPCA were responsible for making sure animal actors weren’t abused and they’d been cited multiple times in the past for neglecting to do this. The producer took full responsibility for this action, but it’s nothing like what it looks like in the two incorrectly spliced videos. I saw the movie and liked it. I loved the book. I love animals and have nothing to do with any of this.

  48. Avatar Cheryl Anderson Says:
    February 1st, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    I can’t imagine the abuse that the owner/trainer, whoever the wretched person was committing the abuse, has done to this dog when no one was around filming. There is enough proof in that video to charge that man and also to the movie maker themselves for allowing such horror! I will not see that movie & will be telling anyone who is going to see the movie about the abuse and the potential trauma that people/children will experience!

  49. Avatar Dee Says:
    February 2nd, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    I believe that if the footage was reported when originally filmed and showed more than just supposed event, then it would be animal abuse. But I feel that TMZ has exploited someone’s idea of a way to make money.

  50. Avatar Sherry Stone Schwindler Says:
    February 26th, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    That is without a doubt animal cruelty. It is holding him against his will & forcing a living being into a dangerous life threatening situation and therefore a CRIME!
    They should be JAILED instead of profiting from it!!! Be glad I’m not your Judge


Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM