ByBrooke Geller, writer at
Awkward nerd, aspiring shieldmaiden and friend to all doggos.
Brooke Geller

A leaked video of an alleged case of animal abuse on the set of continues to trigger backlash amongst both animal rights supporters and the film's own crew. PETA have announced that they will be picketing outside cinemas for the film's opening, whilst some production crew could face fines and even jail time for the mistreatment of a stunt dog.

The leaked video shows a scared German Shepherd being forced into choppy waters, and later being pulled out after completely disappearing under the surface:

"He Loves The Water"

The film's director, producer and main voice actor all expressed their outrage over the leaked video, and Universal Pictures even cancelled the premiere, stating that they were "disheartened by the appearance of an animal in distress". However, not everyone involved with A Dog's Purpose agrees— especially the film's writer.

[Credit: W. Bruce Cameron Instagram]
[Credit: W. Bruce Cameron Instagram]

W. Bruce Cameron wrote not only the script, but the original novel the movie is based on. He told the New York Post that he wrote A Dog's Purpose after encountering a dog with a striking resemblance to his childhood best friend: A dog named Cammie.

Cameron issued a formal statement about the dog in the video, proclaiming that "the dog was not terrified and not thrown in the water", but was merely uncomfortable with the specific area of the pool he was commanded to enter, which was apparently unfamiliar to him:

"He loves the water, wasn’t in danger, and wasn’t upset. On a movie where the mantra was the safety and comfort of the dogs, mistakes were made, and everything needs to be done to make sure those errors are not repeated. But the reason American Humane certifies that no animals were harmed during the making of the film is that no animals were harmed during the making of the film".

Despite Cameron's claims that the film's production was certified by the American Human Association, the official representative on set the day the video was taken has since been suspended.

Manitoba's Chief Veterinary Office have also told TMZ that they're currently investigating the video. If found guilty, the film's crew may be fined up to $10,000 and possibly even face a six month jail sentence.

A Dog's Purpose [Credit: Universal]
A Dog's Purpose [Credit: Universal]

He has since released an updated statement on his novel's Facebook page, reminding the public that as a scriptwriter, he won't stand to lose any money if people choose to boycott the film:

"Being Terrified On Set Is Not A Dog’s Purpose"

Cameron may be standing firm in his denial of animal abuse on the set of his film, but many still disagree— including notoriously radical animal rights organization PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

PETA urged fans to boycott A Dog's Purpose, and posted an update on their website announcing that they would be picketing outside cinemas for the film's release.

However, PETA have a reputation for using some seriously questionable methods in order to generate publicity for their causes. Previous PETA protests have involved banners with photos from Nazi concentration camps; Protesters clad in KKK robes; Forcing interns to be shrink-wrapped like steaks in 80 degree heat; Dumping manure on Gordon Ramsay's restaurant; Handing out graphic comics with photos of skinned animals to children whose parents were seen wearing fur; Making a fake grave next to late KFC founder Colonel Sanders' with a tombstone that reads "KFC tortures birds"; And of course, lots and lots of naked women.

[Credit: PETA]
[Credit: PETA]

It's hard to say what controversial tactics will PETA use to protest A Dog's Purpose, but one thing's for sure: It's probably going to be shocking. If you're considering taking your kids to see A Dog's Purpose this weekend, you may want to take a look at their anti-fur comic that was handed out to children and reconsider.

Would you prefer to watch A Dog's Purpose, boycott it, or picket alongside PETA?

(Source: Variety, TMZ, PETA, New York Post)


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