After receiving numerous complaints about the way a German shepherd was treated during a second-unit shoot on the Winnipeg-area set of Universal Pictures’ upcoming family film A Dog’s Purpose, the Chief Veterinary Office of Canada has assigned an animal protection officer to look into the matter.
According to Kyle Jahns, spokesperson for the Winnipeg Humane Society in Manitoba, the CVO will be looking into whether there was animal abuse during the filming. Their office also has received some complaints about mistreatment following a video that emerged Wednesday on TMZ that shows a dog being manhandled and forced into the water and then later a clip of the dog disappearing under the water as animal handlers yell and move to find him.
The complaints came into both the Humane Society and to the CVO, Jahns said.
When questioned, a spokesperson for Manitoba’s CVO office, sent Deadline the following statement:
Manitoba’s office of the chief veterinarian can confirm it has received a complaint on January 18, 2017 related to a movie filmed in our province and is assigning an animal protection officer to evaluate the matter. We are unable to provide further information at this time about the complaint, as reports made to Manitoba’s Animal Care Line are considered confidential. Generally speaking, it’s important for individuals who have first-hand information about an animal welfare issue to report it to our Animal Care Line as quickly as possible.
We were not involved with or consulted about the filming of the movie, however it’s our understanding that an observer was hired to be on set to advocate on behalf of the animals.