Jody Vance

Animal Abuse in Movie Making – by Jody

If you are a regular reader here on #mybackyard,  you know I’m a dog lover.  I rescued Scout, back in early November via Thank Dog I Am Out — a local rescue group in Vancouver.  This group was scheduled to host a screening of “A Dog’s Purpose” — the film currently being called out for abusing at least one German Sheppard.  outlined here by PETA.  (the original story was broken by TMZ)

Like you, I was horrified by the images captured on this movie set in Manitoba.  Change starts with our voices: let’s be heard.

New TODAY from TMZ:

“The American Humane Association was on set and is responsible for enforcing safety guidelines for animal actors. The org is the body that validates that no animals are harmed in the making of a film.The AHA tells TMZ, “We are placing the safety representative who was on the set on administrative leave immediately and are bringing in an independent third party to conduct an investigation into this matter.”

Amblin Partners and Universal Pictures told TMZ, they have always been determined to foster the ethical treatment of actor animals and are investigating the matter.”

The founder of TDIAO sent me this letter, which I am certain she would want me to share in it’s entirety:


Just thought I would touch base with you (just because your voice is respected) to let you know that we, as a Not for Profit, dog rescue organization decided to pull the plug on our highly anticipated pre screening doggie movie “A Dog’s Purpose”. Universal studios hand selected a group of rescue organizations to have the right to pre screen this feature film 2 days prior to it being released in North America as a fundraiser. Thank DOG was their first choice, with about 135 other NOT for Profits…Months of negotiating with Cineplex and at a cost of over $2,000.00 to secure the theatre upfront, had us promoting our event hard and wow, as of today we had pre sold 225 out of the 300 seats… then the TMZ leak … 

A link to a moment during the filming of this movie, when a German Shepard , clearly frightened, was forced , in fact pushed, into a very wild pool of rough rapids. It was disturbing, very difficult to watch. The dog clung to the side of the pool and at one point  went under the water. The film crew were in the water and I am told the dog, although shaken was ok… but not ok to us. So, we pulled the plug, walked away from our contact commitment and will accept the consequences. 

It was a no brainer to call it but the whole incident has upset us. Is this really happening ? I must say I am blindsided just trying to comprehend that in the making of a dog rescue movie that this is even a conversation we are having. 

On the good side we have the full support of our community and have raised awareness with regards to still needing stronger animal right laws.. it’s a hot topic today, trending on FB and all over the Internet.

Why am I reaching out to you? Because  I want people to understand we at TDIAO had absolutely nothing to do with regards to the filming of this movie.

TDIAO was invited by Universal to celebrate our work by sharing what should have been a beautiful 1:48mins, but instead we have to raise money to pay for our decision to walk away from our contract commitment to Cineplex because of our strong beliefs.

Lastly, this book “A Dog’s Purpose”, by Bruce Cameron is an amazing book and it had nothing to do with this event. I want people to still embrace the book. I have personally handed out about 50 as gifts over the last few years… it’s a big mess.

Just thought you might want to weigh in on it.

Have a wonderful evening. Thank you for listening and BIG hugs to your TDIAO baby … 




Susan Patterson

Founder TDIAO

It’s important to not blame the author of “A Dog’s Purpose”, worth reiterating that.  It’s equally important to hold Universal Pictures, and all production houses, responsible for the ethical and humane treatment of animals in the making of movies. Please take a moment to share this….

TMZ updated with comments from the film-makers.

TMZ just updated AGAIN.  “Huge Fines and Possible Jailtime”


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1 Comment

  • Reply jennjilks January 23, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    It was interesting that they had this footage and waited to show the abuse until the movie was about to be released.

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