American Humane Disproves 'A Dog's Purpose' Animal Abuse Video

Keystone Press via ZUMA Press

"In fact, the two scenes shown in the edited video were filmed at different times".

In a press release, AHS said an investigation by an independent third-party revealed that the video - originally released by TMZ - had been to make it seem as if a dog had been pushed into rushing water against its will. Eyewitnesses report that the dog wanted to go back in the water.

In a statement published on their website, American Humane, the organization responsible for the care of the animals on A Dog's goal said: "An independent, third-party investigation conducted by a respected animal cruelty expert into the treatment of animals in the filming of A Dog's objective concluded that an edited video given to the gossip site TMZ mischaracterized the events on the set".

"It is disappointing that the public was misled by a manufactured controversy prompted by a radical organization like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals with a mission to remove animals from films and other parts of our lives", veterinarian Dr. Kwane Stewart, who leads a program at the AHA, said in the release.

American Humane - which is devoted to making sure animals are safe on movie sets - concluded that none of the animals in "A Dog's Purpose" ever faced any danger while working on the film. After Hercules became briefly submerged in the pool, animal handlers took the dog out of the water and placed him in a warming tent, where he received an examination that found no signs of stress, according to the report.

Filmmaker missing during a dive in the Florida Keys
A global wildlife photographer, Stewart has devoted his career to warning the world about threats facing sharks, other ocean life and humanity in general.

The video surfaced January 18 on TMZ.com and quickly went viral. Although the dog was momentarily stressed, based on studying additional footage not included in the video, body posture, and the fact that he quickly and willingly went into the water and performed the scene soon afterwards, a separate, independent, board certified Veterinary Behaviorist brought in to examine the events concluded that there was "no lasting stress response or conditioned fear of the water as a result".

Dennis Quaid, who stars in the movie, went on TV's "Entertainment Tonight" and called the leaked video "a scam".

American Humane, which had an animal safety representative on the set, did say the dog's signs of stress should have been 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", the organization wrote.

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