Dog's Purpose

‘A Dog’s Purpose’ dog abuse controversy

A while ago I posted about the must-see films for 2017. One of them was the film ‘A Dog’s Purpose’, which is about the many reincarnations of dogs. I’m a dog lover, and the film did appeal to me even though I knew I would be in tears. A film where a dog keeps dying? Yeah, let’s keep those waterfalls flowing. This morning a video leaked from the set of a Dog’s purpose. The dog, a German Shepherd, refused to go in the water but its trainer made it go. Apparently something went terribly wrong then, as the dog disappeared under water. They immediately yelled cut because that wasn’t the plan apparently. The dog knew it was a dangerous situation for him. Yet he was forced by the person he trusted to go into that water anyway.

If you haven’t seen the video, watch it here:

There’s even a guy who says not to worry because at least it’s warm water. That must be such a relief for the dog. “I will probably die going in here but at least I will be warm.”

Statements about the incident

Considering the film is close to being released, some members of the cast and crew released statements. We do not yet have a statement of the dog, because obviously it can only use it’s body language to tell that it’s not okay with something, but hey.

The director released a statement. He conveniently wasn’t present the day this was shot.

That’s all very great but I assume you could have considered this before shooting the film. There are not many dogs who find it cool to jump into a wild river. They could have either chosen a breed that doesn’t mind water or perhaps use CGI for a scene like this. If they can use CGI to put a tiger in a boat (Life of Pi) or make a whole jungle come alive (The Jungle Book), it must not be so hard to CGI a dog. There are so many ways to make it look realistic without having to throw a dog in the water against its will.

The actor who voiced the film said the following:


While I am not quite sure that being a supporter of PETA means you actually love animals, the statement is nice enough. No matter what they say or what we say, the dog still suffered. This will probably not even be the last time. Dogs can’t follow scripts, they can only follow their instincts. But Hollywood needs them to follow the script in any way possible. Which is a sad realisation. It is time the industry will put more effort into treating pets in films better.

So what now?

While I was originally planning on seeing this film, I won’t do that now. I am not saying you shouldn’t go see it either, but I think supporting this isn’t ok. And yes, I do realise I can’t avoid every film that has an animal in it. But the evidence here is very clear. While I do understand that the footage has been leaked now to discredit the film, it’s still true. This should not have happened. This film does not deserve my money and support. I hope you will consider carefully whether you want to see this film or not.



Article written by Ingrid

Ingrid is the twenty-something owner of The Sassologist, who loves everything that has to do with pop culture. While she is one of many who is in the process of writing a novel, she is also currently in denial over not being a witch. Her Hogwarts letter has yet to arrive. In the meantime she writes about pop culture and dreams about unicorns.

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