Investigation Shows ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ Video of Dog Forced into Pool Was ‘Edited to Mischaracterize’

Prior to the premiere of “A Dog’s Purpose,” a video was released by TMZ that went viral and showed a dog in the movie being forced into a pool of water:

Backlash against the movie was swift, as people began calling for a boycott of the film and  protests occurring at theaters, which ultimately resulted in the movie’s premiere being canceled.

But some involved with the movie contended that there had been no wrongdoing. According to The New York Times Dennis Quaid, who stars in the movie, appeared on “Today” and defended the treatment of the dog in question:

“The dog was fine. This was a piece of video that was shot during the making of this. [by] Some unknown person at the time. He also spliced, edited and manipulated that to make it look as if the dog was being abused. The dog had been in that water happily, and even afterwards too.”

With all the talk of “fake news” lately, it seems politics is not the only place where people need to use caution, according to The Verge. The website reported that the viral video was not all it seemed:

an independent, third-party investigation found that the video had been edited to mischaracterize what actually happened.

The American Humane Society shared investigation findings, raising questions about the intent of the party that gave the video to TMZ:

An independent, third-party investigation conducted by a respected animal cruelty expert into the treatment of animals in the filming of “A Dog’s Purpose” concluded that an edited video given to the gossip site TMZ mischaracterized the events on the set. 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 movie’s premiere, raise serious questions about their motives and ethics.

The findings of the independent investigation confirm that no animals were harmed in those scenes and numerous preventative safety measures were in place.

It went on to cite two key points, such as “the two scenes shown in the edited video were filmed at different times” and “the first video scene was stopped after the dog showed signs of stress. The dog was not forced to swim in the water at any time.” It also noted that the dog, a German Shepherd named Hercules, had been specifically selected for filming because of his love of the water.

The Verge wrote that while the monetary impact at the box office may have been minimal, the video did cost the film’s creators, who had to spend the time just prior to the movie’s release defending a wrong that was never committed, instead of being able to focus solely on promoting the film.

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