Upcoming film 'A Dog's Purpose' was meant to celebrate the bond between man and dog, as well as dogs' place in our lives. But on-set footage obtained by TMZ, showing a German Shepherd Dog being thrown into churning water while struggling to get away, has now gone viral, enraging animal lovers everywhere.
Any dog trainer will tell you that working with dogs takes plenty of patience, and that in order to perform stunts it is important that the dog is enjoying himself and finds the experience to be rewarding. For this dog, it was anything but: the footage shows clearly the German Shepherd trying to resist attempts at putting him into the water, attempting to climb back up several times.
"He wants to get away, just thrown him in," a crew member is heard saying as the video plays.
At the end of the footage the dog, who is in the water, is overwhelmed by it and goes under, prompting the crew present to rush to his aid.
Lasse Hallström, the movie's director, has distanced himself from the incident in a series of tweets.
"I am very disturbed by the video released today from the set of my film A Dog's Purpose," he wrote. "I did not witness these actions. We were all committed to providing a loving and safe environment for all the animals in the film. I have been promised that a thorough investigation into this situation is underway and that any wrongdoing will be reported and punished.
"I have been a lifelong animal lover and A Dog’s Purpose is my third film about dogs. The animals’ safety was of utmost priority for both myself and everyone on the set."