A Dog's Purpose

A Dog’s Purpose is an American dramedy directed by Lasse Hallström about a dog that is reincarnated through different canines over the course of 50 years. The movie was expected to gross more than $25 million in its opening weekend, but complaints about suspected animal abuse slowed ticket sales.

On January 18 footage was released that depicted animal abuse of one of the movie’s canines being “forced” to enter potentially hazardous water. The video of the on-stage stunt turned up on TMZ with the headline: “TERRIFIED GERMAN SHEPHERD FORCED INTO TURBULENT WATER.” The filmmakers of the movie denied the clip’s originality and claimed that it was edited.

This, however, didn’t stop Universal Pictures from cancelling the film’s red carpet premiere and promotional press junket. As another form of neglecting the film’s original attempt, PETA, the animal rights organization, urged protesters to show up at Arclight Hollywood on the night of one of its screenings to urge others to boycott the film.

Supporters of the movie say there isn’t any actual abuse going on in the video.

“Absolutely no dogs were harmed in this...The dog had been in that water happily and even afterwards too, and the dog was fine,” said Dennis Quaid, playing the role of Ethan in A Dog’s Purpose, in an interview on the Today Show.

As of January 27, the film was officially released, and whether it was abuse or not is still being debated as movie-goers alike are either sitting this one out or weeping at the theaters.

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

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