Actor Josh Gad has been left "shaken and sad" by footage showing a German Shepherd being forced into water for his movie A Dog's Purpose.
A video obtained by TMZ.com emerged on Wednesday (18Jan17) showed a man trying to place the canine into rushing water during a second unit shoot for the family movie in Winnipeg, Canada in November, 2015. The dog resists on every attempt and claws at the sides of the pool to get out. Another clip shows the pooch in the pool, where motors have been placed to recreate a rushing river, and disappearing under the water as someone repeatedly yells to stop filming.
Josh, who voices the dog, responded to the footage by issuing a statement on Facebook, insisting he was never present on set and would be speaking to the studio to get to the bottom of it.
"Today... I saw a disturbing video that appears to show a scared German Shepard being forced to perform a stunt on the set of the film," he wrote. "While I do not know all of the details and cannot speak to the level of care and caution that went into this moment (as I was never on set for the making of this film), I am shaken and sad to see any animal put in a situation against its will."
Director Lasse Hallstrom also tweeted his outrage at the video, writing, "I am very disturbed by the video released today from the set of my film A dog's purpose... I did not witness these actions. We were all committed to providing a loving and safe environment for all the animals in the film."
He also assured fans an investigation into the video would be conducted. The dog was reportedly supplied by The Birds & Animals Unlimited.
Officials at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have called for a boycott of the film, which is released later this month (Jan17).
The movie, which stars Dennis Quaid and Britt Robertson, follows a dog who discovers the meaning of life when it's reincarnated into different breeds.