This Shocking Animal Cruelty Video That Went Viral Was Probably Fake

6 February 2017, 12:06 | Updated: 6 November 2017, 09:39

We the Unicorns

By Liam Dryden

Is everything really as it seems?

The internet was up in arms last month after video leaked of apparent animal cruelty on a film set.

TMZ published the upsetting footage from the set of "A Dog's Purpose"; in which a German Shepherd was apparently being forced into turbulent water despite obvious distress. But an investigation into the incident has revealed not all is as it seemed.

a dog's purpose

The video has seen viral reach and resulted in the film's premiere being cancelled.

Protests have also taken place outside theatres showing the movie. As it is quite distressing to watch, we won't feature the video here; but an investigation carried out by an independent third party has revealed that the video may have been manipulated to create the illusion of animal cruelty. The American Humane Association released a statement that confirms no animals were harmed in the making of "A Dog's Purpose".

The independent investigation revealed the following:

  • The video had been deliberately edited between takes to stoke outrage; and the two scenes in the video were shot at different times.
  • Five experts, including safety experts and animal handlers, were on set to assure no ill-treatment.
  • Hercules, the German Shepherd used in the scene, had been trained and selected for his "love of water" and was not forced to swim at any time.

The film's production team, including director Lasse Hallstrom, have been forced to defend their actions following the online backlash. While animal cruelty is no joke, it's clear you can't always believe what you see on the internet.