Josh Gad & A Dog's Purpose Director Respond To Animal Cruelty Accusations

On Wednesday, TMZ leaked a troubling video of someone throwing a German Shepherd into a strong current during the filming of A Dog's Purpose.

After catching notice of the video, the animal rights organization PETA released a statement saying it was "calling on dog lovers to boycott the film in order to send the message that dogs and other animals should be treated humanely, not as movie props."

Josh Gad, who does the voiceover for the dog, reacted to the controversy in a Twitter statement.

"While I do not know all of the details and cannot speak to the level of care and caution that went into this moment (as I was never on set for the making of this film), I am shaken and sad to see any animal put in a situation against its will," he said. "As the proud owner of a rescued dog and a fervent supporter of organizations like PETA, I have reached out to the production team and studio to ask for an explanation for these disturbing images."
Advertisement
PETA replied to the tweet and thanked Gad.
Director Lasse Hallstrom didn't react directly to the video but expressed support for animal rights.
Advertisement
Many fans are also disturbed by the video, with some vowing to boycott the film along with PETA.
Advertisement
The production company Amblin Partners and distributor Universal Pictures denied wrongdoing, claiming in a statement to Entertainment Tonight that the set was "an ethical and safe environment for the animals."

An investigator hired by American Humane, which oversees the film industry's treatment of animals, is examining the case. In the meantime, the movie's safety representative has been put on leave.

"American Humane has reviewed the video and we are disturbed and concerned by the footage," the organization's Chief Communications Officer Mark Stubis told ET. "When the dog showed signs of resistance to jumping in the water, the scene should have been stopped."
Advertisement