A dog’s purpose protest

Due to assumed animal abuse PETA has staged protests for the upcoming film

Mia Washington , Staff Reporter

What was expected to become a blockbuster film is now looking to be a box office loss, due to assumed animal abuse. Animal rights organization PETA has staged protests and boycotting of  the upcoming comedy-drama film, A Dog’s Purpose (2017), directed by Lasse Hallstrom.

“As the TMZ video of a terrified dog being forced into churning water shows, animals do not belong on set as if they were props, and there is no way to ensure their safety. PETA is calling on moviegoers to boycott A Dog’s Purpose along with concerned dog lovers and other animal-welfare organizations, will be protesting screenings nationwide to remind compassionate people never to support films that use animals for entertainment,” said Representative Lange.

In response to this outburst, producer Polone wrote an essay for the Hollywood Reporter, according to Us Weekly, explaining what had really happened. He explained that, although he was not on set at the time the video was shot, he was there for about 70% of the time.

“Not once did I perceive any animal caused any discomfort or put in danger,” Polone wrote, adding, “Seeing that distraught dog in the video did not comport with what I had observed in the prior weeks of production”.

This was contradictory to a statement that had been released earlier, however. In a statement made by a representative of the company, we were notified that Hercules [the dog in the movie portraying the German Shepherd] did not want to perform the stunt portrayed on tape, so the Amblin production team did not proceed with filming that shot.

Animal rights activists, along with citizens, have voiced their various opinions of the film via social media. The majority of those  upset about the film feel as if  the animals should not be used for entertainment purpose.

“That is animal cruelty because he was scared to jump in the water. He could have died” said Caitlyn Rosario, junior.

After reviewing the video obtained  by TMZ  as well as  film shots from the film studio, Polone voiced his ambivalence towards what he saw.

“Last Thursday, I went to [the film studio] Amblin’s office and watched all the film shots on the day in question, as well as saw video from the trainers and still photographs,” he wrote. “As with the TMZ video that you saw, two things were evident: 1) the dog handler tries to force the dog, for 35 to 40 seconds, into the water when, clearly, he didn’t want to go in; and 2) in a separate take filmed sometime later, the dog did go into the water, on his own, and, at the end, his head is submerged for about 4 seconds. These two things are absolutely INEXCUSABLE and should NEVER have happened”.

However, Polone says that the TMZ video was very “misleading”. In a statement, he said that the footage for the rehearsal scene was not the same.

“In footage of the rehearsal for the scene, you can see the dog not only unafraid of the water but desperate to jump in. In fact, he had to be held back by the trainer from going in too soon. The dog did the scene in rehearsal without problem, though it was from the left side of the pool, not the right side, which is where the dog is in the TMZ video. Also, in the rehearsal footage, it’s clear that there is a safety diver and a trainer in the pool to protect the dog in case of a problem, as well as two trainers, a stunt coordinator and a safety officer on the deck, and that there are platforms built into the pool where the dog can swim to and stand, if need be”.

Polone made various posts towards the PETA for “handling the situation in the wrong way” by making accusations and allegations along with making a petition to boycott A Dog’s Purpose unless the creators make  generous donations to animal welfare organizations.