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American Humane investigating treatment of dog in film

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NewsHubJoe Lederer / Universal Pictures via AP
This image shows Dennis Quaid with a dog, voiced by Josh Gad, in a scene from “A Dog’s Purpose.” A spokesman for American Humane said Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017 that it has suspended its safety representative who worked on the set of the film when a frightened German shepherd, not shown, was forced into churning waters.
Associated Press
Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017 | 6:38 p.m.
LOS ANGELES — The organization that ensures animal safety in film and television productions said Wednesday it is investigating whether a frightened dog was forced into churning water during the making of “A Dog’s Purpose. ”
American Humane has also suspended its safety representative who worked on the film and is hiring an independent investigator to explore the matter, said Mark Stubis, a spokesman for the organization.
The incident came to light when celebrity site TMZ.com posted a minute-long video it says was shot during production of “A Dog’s Purpose. ”
It shows a German shepherd apparently terrified to get into a pool and a trainer forcing the dog into the water.
Universal Pictures, which is releasing “A Dog’s Purpose” on Jan. 27, has not responded to a request for comment from The Associated Press.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said in a Twitter post that dog lovers should boycott the film “to send the message that dogs & other animals should be treated humanely, not as props. ”
Actor Josh Gad, who lends his voice to a dog in the film, issued a statement on Twitter saying he has asked the studio and production team for an explanation of what he calls “disturbing images. ”
He said that while the finished film is “one of the most beautiful love letters to animals I have ever seen,” he was troubled by the video.
“I am shaken and sad to see any animal put in a situation against its will,” Gad wrote. A publicist for the actor confirmed the post was authentic.

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