I’m debating whether to feel bad for columnist and producer of A Dog’s Purpose Gavin Polone. He wrote a lengthy, emotional op-ed for The Hollywood Reporter about the video of a German Shepherd being forced into turbulent waters for a scene and accusations of animal abuse.
“My will is set up so that all I have shall be donated to charities benefiting animals when I die,” he wrote. “The most consistent and closest relationships I’ve had throughout my life have been with animals…Love of animals defines my existence, and that love is what drove me to struggle for years to get Bruce Cameron’s brilliant and widely cherished novel about the bond between a person and a dog made into a movie.”
“Now, the idea that I’m connected to an accusation of the abuse of a dog is, to understate it, painful,” Polone added.
He argued in the open letter the incident was “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.”
He then revealed his issues with others involved, saying, “The American Humane Association (AHA) representative who is paid by the production to ‘ensure the safety and humane treatment of animal actors, as its website states, should have also intervened immediately on both of those parts of the filming. So should have whomever was running the set. Those individuals should be held accountable and never used again by that studio or its affiliates.”
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