W. Bruce Cameron, the screenwriter of reference and also the author of the novel upon whichthe film is based, questioned the motivations of those who captured the footage of a seemingly distressed German Shepherd on the set of the movie in Winnipeg, Canada. Cameron was upfront in saying that he was disgusted and shocked by the footage. He also, however, pondered the date of release of the footage.
"[If] something was wrong, why did they wait fifteen months to do anything about it, instead of immediately going to the authorities?" asked Cameron in a statement.
"[It was a mistake to] dip the dog in the water to show him it was okay," continued Cameron. "[But] the water wasn't his issue, it was the location that was the issue, and the dog happily did the stunt when he was allowed to return to his original spot."
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals called for a boycott of the film by dog lovers all over the country. The film premiere was cancelled on Thursday, partiallyas a result of the boycott.
"It takes a cold heart not to find this footage disturbing, so PETA asks whether A Dog's Purpose was written from the heart or just to make a buck," responded PETA rep, Lisa Lange."Whistleblowers invariably fear for their jobs, but this footage was bravely made public after PETA exposed cruelty to animals at the film's reported dog supplier."