Like many of you, I too watched that footage from the set of A Dog’s Purpose and thought, “the Trump administration is making movies now?”
The film was poorly reviewed, and Dennis Quaid briefly considered returning to the arms of Meg Ryan for solace (I’m not sure he could recognize her to find her), and everybody wants to use robot dogs on film sets from now on. Or cats (I kid!). It turns out that what we were all watching wasn’t what we thought it was.
At least the American Humane Association thinks so.
The AHA released a statement yesterday to announce their findings after launching an investigation into what was going on with that seemingly terrorized pooch. They’re saying that it was a hoax and that the video was (ugh, I can’t believe I’m using this loaded term) “FAKE NEWS.”
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.
Harvey Levin is totally going to start buying his celebrity-sniffing dogs from puppy mills now out of spite! The AHA’s expert ultimately concluded that “no animals were harmed in those scenes and numerous preventative safety measures were in place.”
It should be noted, however, that the A Dog’s Purpose people weren’t entirely free from blame. (Honestly, that title is so “Kirk Cameron,” and the ads made me believe that the twist at the end was that the dog is Jesus.)
The investigation and eyewitness reports affirmed that throughout its work on the set, the dog was treated with great care, attentiveness, and respect. At the same time, American Humane believes that the handling of the dog in the first scene in the video should have been gentler and signs of stress recognized earlier.
Basically, how about we don’t shove animals in raging rapids for the purpose of shitty movies anymore, across the board? And that dog should still sue. Not only did it experience some minor stress and discomfort, but it was forced to act in a terrible movie.