A Dog’s Purpose has been cleared of animal abuse.
An independent investigation into the leaked video showing a German shepherd, Hercules, being forced into a pool of water while filming the movie found that no animal abuse occurred on set, Buzzfeed reports.
The American Humane Association released the results of the third-party investigation on Friday and concluded the leaked video was edited and did not portray what really happened on set.
The investigator found that there was “a full spectrum of preparation and safety measures” in place during the scene. The German shepherd was selected for this scene because of “his love of the water” and was professionally trained for the conditions.
One of the AHA’s certified animal safety representatives was on set during the filming as well as five other experts to “supervise and safeguard the dog.” After Hercules filmed the water scene, he was brought to a warming tent and examined. No signs of stress were found, according to the report.
Eyewitness statements show “the dog was treated with great care, attentiveness and respect.” However, the investigator did report that the handling of the dog “should have been gentler and signs of stress recognized earlier.”
The report states: “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."
“We are the first to address and fight cruelty and abuse, and no such things happened on the set of a A Dog’s Purpose,” Kwane Stewart, the veterinarian in charge of the AHA’s “No Animals Were Harmed” program, said in a statement.
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Watch: Video of Dog Being Forced Into Water While Filming 'A Dog's Purpose' Triggers Investigation