Back to IndieWire

‘A Dog’s Purpose’ Terrified Dog Video: Star Josh Gad and Director Lasse Hallström ‘Disturbed’ by Canine’s Treatment on Set

PETA is calling for a boycott of the film.

Josh Gad

TMZ has obtained footage from the set of the movie “A Dog’s Purpose” in which a handler is seen forcing a shaking German Shepherd into a pool of rapidly churning water as the dog attempts to scramble back up the side. Offscreen, a man can be heard saying: “You just gotta throw him in.” The video then cuts to show the dog in the water, his head disappearing below the surface, and the crew rushing over to him before someone yells, “Cut it! Cut it! Cut it!”

“A Dog’s Purpose” is produced by Amblin Entertainment, Walden Media, and DreamWorks. It is set to open in theaters nationwide on January 27th, but its intended audience of dog lovers might not be lining up anytime soon.

READ MORE: ‘Finding Dory’ Wins People’s Choice Award For Favorite Movie

Josh Gad (“Frozen”), who voices the movie’s dog protagonist, took to Facebook to voice his concern: “While…I was never on set for the making of this film, I am shaken and sad to see put in a situation against its will.” Director Lasse Hallström (“Chocolat”) tweeted that he “did not witness these actions,” adding that he has “been promised a thorough investigation into this situation is underway and that any wrongdoing will be reported and punished.” Both men emphasized that they are lifelong dog lovers.

PETA released this statement denouncing the movie: “PETA is calling on dog lovers to boycott the film in order to send the message that dogs and other animals should be treated humanely, not as movie props.”

In the movie, which follows one dog’s soul through different re-incarnations, the German Shepherd plays a police dog who jumps into a dam in order to save a little girl from drowning. In reality, it appears the dog was the one who needed saving.

Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Film and tagged , , ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox