"An independent, third-party investigation conducted by a respected animal cruelty expert into the treatment of animals in the filming of A Dog's objective concluded that an edited video given to the gossip site TMZ mischaracterized the events on the set", the American Humane Society said in a statement.
American Humane, an organization tasked with ensuring safety of animal actors on set, said the investigation's findings "confirm that no animals were harmed in those scenes and numerous preventative safety measures were in place".
When a video taken from the filming of A Dog's goal appeared to show a German Shepherd being mistreated, the footage went viral thanks to TMZ, leading to numerous boycotts of the film from PETA and other celebrities. Eyewitnesses also report that following the water scene, the dog was wagging his tail and wanted to go back into the water.
The news release from the AHA said that TMZ "mischaracterized the events on the set" and that the footage was "deliberately edited". According to the investigation, the video "was deliberately edited for the objective of misleading the public and stoking outrage".
The investigation also revealed that the dog in question had been selected for its love of swimming, and that it had gone through a six-week conditioning course. The clear signs of the dog's panic caused an internet firestorm, with star Josh Gad distancing himself from the project and PETA calling for an immediate boycott of the film. "Still, out of an abundance of caution, American Humane stopped filming of any more scenes with the dog". After Hercules became briefly submerged in the pool, animal handlers took the dog out of the water and placed him in a warming tent, where he received an examination that found no signs of stress, according to the report.
-A veterinary checkup was performed last week at the request of American Humane, which confirmed that the dog is healthy.
"American Humane is at the forefront of combatting cruelty to animals through our rescue efforts, support of anti-cruelty raids, and work to improve conditions for animals around the world", Dr. Kwane Stewart, the veterinarian who heads American Humane's No Animals Were Harmed program says in the statement.
The statement from the animal welfare organization said the report brought a few other facts to light.
With everyone's feeds full of awful news stories these days, you've probably already forgotten about the video of alleged animal abuse on the set of A Dog's goal.