WINNIPEG, Manitoba — One of the dogs in the upcoming film “A Dog’s Purpose” desperately resisted shooting a risky scene, but footage shows filmmakers apparently forcing the animal into rushing water.
TMZ obtained video of a scene shot in a pool outside Winnipeg, Manitoba, in November 2015.
A trainer is seen in a green suit trying to calm the German shepherd at the side of the pool of frothing, turbulent water.
Someone off camera can be heard saying, “He ain’t gonna calm down till he goes in the water. Just gotta throw him in.”
A trainer tries to do that, but the dog wanted no part of it.
“Aww, he wants to get away. … Just throw him in,” a man says off camera as the trainer struggles to keep a hold of the dog’s collar and push it toward the edge.
A trainer forces the dog into the water, then pulls the dog back up as it clawed at the pool’s edge.
Sources connected to production tell TMZ that eight outboard motors were used to churn the water and recreate a rushing river.
The dog eventually got in the water — or was forced in — and was quickly submerged.
It’s unclear if the dog going under was scripted, but someone immediately yelled, “Cut it” and handlers rushed to the animal.
Director Lasse Hallström was present the whole time, and at least one member of the crew was extremely disturbed by the dog’s treatment during the scene.
“Fostering a safe environment and ensuring the ethical treatment of our animal actors was of the utmost importance to those involved in making this film and we will look into the circumstances surrounding this video,” Amblin Partners and Universal Pictures told TMZ.
At least five dogs were used in the production.