Published Feb 06, 2017Following an independent third-party investigation, the American Humane Society has deemed that footage from the set of A Dog's Purpose that led to allegations of animal abuse on set was manipulated and sensationalized.
The investigation concludes that "no animals were harmed in those scenes and numerous preventative safety measures were in place."
The report also notes that the two scenes shown in the TMZ video that kick-started the controversy were filmed at different times and edited together "for the purpose of misleading the public and stoking outrage."
The report also details a number of safety measures that were taken on set, including pre-shoot safety meetings, extensive training with the dog, having five experts like safety specialists and animal handlers (plus an American Humane's certified animal safety representative) to supervise the dog, and post-shoot care given to the dog (including being placed in a warming tent and receiving an examination that revealed no signs of stress).
"The investigation and eyewitness reports affirmed that throughout its work on the set, the dog was treated with great care, attentiveness and respect," the report continues. "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. That being said, it is important to note that this was recognized and the scene did not proceed as insinuated by the misleadingly edited video."
It concludes "no lasting stress response or conditioned fear of the water as a result."
The same can't be said of the film's box office success. In the wake of TMZ's leaked video, a number of events were cancelled, including the film's Hollywood premiere.
A Dog's Purpose is currently in theatres.