Local trainer reacts to video, accusations of animal cruelty on set of 'A Dog's Purpose'
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) —
A movie designed to share a dog's perspective is now accused of animal cruelty.
Wednesday TMZ leaked a video reportedly from the set of the movie 'A Dog's Purpose'. The footage appears to show a scared German Shepherd fighting to stay out of rushing water while a trainer forces him in.
"Once I watched this, it's a bit sickening,” K-9 University CEO Angel Soriano said.
Later in the video it appears the dog goes completely under the water. Someone is heard yelling cut and people rush into the water. The video has sparked a firestorm on social media, some even calling to boycott the movie.
"Without a doubt it was a very stressed dog, there are much better ways of training a dog to do something. There are many different ways of teaching a dog to do this instead of dropping it into turbulent waters,” Soriano said.
Soriano says the stress this dog is showing in this video, could result in life long trauma and behavioral problems for the pup.
"Any time you cause trauma on an animal you will have lasting issues with it and it all depends on the dog as to how quickly they recover from it. But rest assured any type of traumatized dog will have a set of issues moving forward,” Soriano said.
Soriano says it should have taken months to prepare and train the dog by starting in calm water then gradually making it more comfortable in rushing water. If properly trained, it would have jumped right in.
"You have to balance a couple of things, one is discipline and the next is reward. And in doing that there are many ways this could have been done better,” Soriano said.
Amblin Partners and Universal Pictures has not disputed the authenticity of the video. According to CNN the companies released a statement saying that they are reviewing the circumstances of the footage, and that Amblin is confident great care and concern was shown for the German Shepherd named Hercules who is happy and healthy.
The American Humane Association issued a statement saying the representative who was responsible for ensuring the animals safety on set has been suspended following the release of the tape. The statement says they are disturbed by the footage and that a third party will be investigating.
The film’s director Lasse Hallstrom also tweeted out that he was disturbed by the video, and that he did not see what happened before cameras were rolling.