PETA Plans to Protest ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ at Theaters Nationwide

PETA says that over two dozen protests against the film A Dog’s Purpose will be taking place nationwide on Friday (Jan. 25, 2016), its opening day at the box office.

The boycott of the film was announced on Jan. 18 when footage of a German Shepherd being forced to swim in a man-made stream with rough waters leaked out from set and onto TMZ. Director Lasse Hallstrom, co-screenwriter W. Bruce Cameron, producer Gavin Polone, and trainers from Birds & Animals Unlimited said that the mistreatment was taken out of context and that the dog was hesitant to swim because he didn’t have enough practice in the filming location.

American Humane, the company in charge of monitoring the animals, said that the video was manipulated to make the incident appear worse than it was. American Humane CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert said, “The preliminary findings and eyewitness reports indicate that the footage was misleading and edited. In fact, evidence supports the finding that the two scenes shown in the manipulated video were filmed at different times. Production stopped after the dog showed signs of stress and the dog was never forced to swim in the water against his will.”

Now, protests will take place in L.A., New York City, Washington D.C., and Winnipeg, Canada. According to Variety, PETA said supporters are also boycotting in over 25 other cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, San Diego, and Seattle.

“No amount of spin from Hollywood will change the fact that being forced to do a terrifying stunt is not a dog’s purpose,” said PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. “PETA is calling on kind people to boycott this film and send the message that animals should be treated humanely, not exploited as movie props.”