After watching the trailer for the new movie “A Dog’s Purpose,” you would expect animal lovers lining up to go see the film. That was until TMZ released a video online of someone on set of the movie capturing a German Shepard being physically forced into rapid water it clearly did not want to go in. This was followed by the dog being sucked underwater as crew members rushed to pull him out. The movie with a plot line based on the love between humans and their dogs was quickly turning into a hypocritical situation. The premiere for the movie even had to be cancelled last week because of so much backlash from the public and dog lovers promising to boycott the movie by not going to see it.
Mr. Polone, director of “A Dog’s Purpose,” responded to allegations of animal mistreatment by saying he was not present that day of shooting for the movie. However, he expressed that the dog, Hercules, had never shown signs of distress while filming prior to the controversial video’s release. Polone agrees that what is seen in the video is “inexcusable.” Following that, Polone had to respond to emails from PETA’s senior vice president Lisa Lange, who suggested he “pledge to never use live animals in films again.” Mr. Polone responded, saying that while he still plans on using live animals in future films, he wanted to put blame on Birds and Animals Unlimited, which is the company supplying the animals used in the film. “The trainer should have stopped trying to get Hercules to go in once the dog looked uncomfortable, and Hercules should never have gone underwater,” Polone stated.
As a fellow dog lover and animal enthusiast I was heart broken watching the TMZ video on Facebook. After being excited to go see a movie that is centered around the love and connection between man and his best friend, the video released online showed the exact opposite happened during filming for the movie. Mr. Polone seemed to react to allegations pretty sincerely, leaving me to believe he has the animals on set’s best interest and well being at heart. Polone continues on by expressing “I say that we build a better method of protecting animals on sets through a better animal-protective service.” This put pressure on the American Humane Association (who were present on set to ensure the fair treatment of animals while filming) to take responsibility for what had happened. Proving their commitment to keeping the animals on set safe, A.H.A. decided to put the employee present during filming on administrative leave to ease the minds of the public with ruffled feathers.