By now, you have more than likely heard about the controversy of A Dog's Purpose. A video was leaked to TMZ that showed one of the dogs in the production uncomfortable with jumping into the artificially created rapids and then seemingly being forced into the pool. We've heard a lot from people close to the film giving their account or understanding of the situation, from actor Josh Gad to director Lasse Hallström, and it all roughly translates the same: "The dog was not harmed and the video is misleading." Typical stuff. Now a producer on the film has written a full account of that day on set, hoping to finally clear up the controversy.

A Dog's Purpose

Producer Gavin Polone published a full article on The Hollywood Reporter (for which he has occasionally written for) going into deep detail about what actually happened that day. He was quick to point out his own animal rights activism and how these sorts of scenes are typically supposed to be filmed. While Polone notably points out that what happened to Hercules, the German Shepard in the video, should never have happened and wasn't okay, he claims that the leaked video is misleading and perhaps purposefully so.

As with the TMZ video that you saw, two things were evident: 1) the dog handler tries to force the dog, for 35 to 40 seconds, into the water when, clearly, he didn't want to go in; and 2) in a separate take filmed sometime later, the dog did go into the water, on his own, and, at the end, his head is submerged for about 4 seconds. These two things are absolutely INEXCUSABLE and should NEVER have happened. The dog trainer should have stopped trying to get the dog to go in the water as soon as the dog seemed uncomfortable, and the trainers should have had support under the dog as soon as he came to the side of the pool and/or had less turbulence in the water so he never would have gone under.

As Polone describes it, Hercules had no trouble jumping into the pool multiple times during rehearsals, in which a safety diver, one trainer in the pool, two trainers on land, a stunt coordinator and a safety officer on deck. Hercules rehearsed on the left side of the pool, but when it came time to film, they moved to the right side. This change is what Polone believes caused Hercules to become uncomfortable as seen in the video. When it became clear that Hercules wasn't going in, they moved back to the left side and Hercules had no problems jumping in. Hercules also had a much calmer patch of water to swim in -- something that's difficult to see in the angle of the leaked video.

Again, Polone states that what happened that day shouldn't have happened, but he doesn't believe that this footage was leaked by a good samaritan. The footage is edited to make it look like the dog was forced into the water and then drowned (in reality, Hercules' head was underwater for four seconds before he was pulled out by divers). Furthermore, if the leaker was concerned about the animals safety, then why wait months to share the footage? The video was leaked days before the film was set to premiere, and TMZ is known to pay for newsworthy videos.

You can head on over to the next page to hear the thoughts of the original author of A Dog's Purpose, W. Bruce Cameron.

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