All that controversy over the treatment of a German shepherd in A Dog's Purpose? Bogus, says an independent investigation. There was no animal cruelty on the set, just a deliberately misleading video, declares American Humane, the group charged with ensuring animal safety on movie sets, per People. It commissioned the review, which concluded that not only was the dog treated well but that the video leaked to TMZ was "deliberately edited for the purpose of misleading the public and stoking outrage." A statement from the group says those who released the video manipulated footage shot at different times, then waited 15 months until the film was about to be released for maximum impact. (The strategy worked.)
The group does say that "the handling of the dog in the first scene in the video should have been gentler and signs of stress recognized earlier." But it says the video was stitched together to make the situation seem far worse than it was. It notes that eyewitnesses said the dog was wagging its tail and wanted to go back in the water, and a veterinary expert concluded that the dog was only "momentarily stressed." The investigation backs up the assertion of the filmmakers, who earlier complained about a misleading video. Still, a PETA rep called the report's findings incomplete and insisted that questions remain, reports AP. "In the making of a film, no animal should be frightened at all," she says. "It's a film."