Mary Cummins Animal Advocates Los Angeles California Wildlife Rehabilitation Real Estate

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Alleged animal cruelty in production of "A Dog's Purpose" movie coming out soon - Animal Advocates

A Dog's Purpose, animal cruelty, dog, water, Birds and Animals Unlimited, Ray Beal, Raymond Beal, Canada, Animal Advocates
UPDATE: 02/03/2017 AHA just released the results of their investigation into themselves. They cleared themselves of all wrong doing, imagine that. Here is their report http://tmz.vo.llnwd.net/o28/newsdesk/tmz_documents/nr-report_Redacted-2.pdf

As an employee for AHA we were told that the animals cannot be stressed or frightened. That is "abuse." The dog didn't die but it was still frightened. That is not allowed on set per AHA's own regulations.

AHA investigated themselves in the tragic deaths of horses in the movie "My Friend Flicka." They said the deaths were "unavoidable accidents." That's not what the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services said after their very thorough investigation. They said the deaths were avoidable. No horse should be allowed to run with a dangling lead. That's common sense. You wouldn't let a little kid run with long shoe laces untied. Here is the official report from the City. http://www.animaladvocates.us/Flicka_Incident.pdf    Here is the result of AHA's investigation into themselves. http://www.eonline.com/news/49785/report-accidents-fell-flicka-friends  I worked for AHA during this time though I wasn't on the Flicka set. One of the AHA horse experts said it was the inspector's fault. An immediate result was adding to the inspection manual that no horse should be allowed to run free with a long dangling lead.

01/23/2017 I thought Gavin's name sound familiar. We went to Beverly Hills High School together.

Gavin Polone producer of "A Dog's Purpose" just gave a statement about the incident and the American Humane Association (AHA). He stated "American Humane Association (AHA) is not an adequate protector of animals on set. They are not independent from the studios. They don't take a stand against abuse. They should have stopped this."

http://tmzvod-a.akamaihd.net/tmz/2017-01/23/0_rqf3japn_0_dibiz8d9.mp4

PETA has released a protest flyer.

http://tmz.vo.llnwd.net/o28/newsdesk/tmz_documents/dogs-purpose-peta-flier.pdf

The animal trainers have released this statement. This doesn't change anything. The dog was frightened. Everyone admits that. This is considered "harm." They admit the dog got sucked under the water. That would have also been frightening for the dog. They pulled the dog out. He did not drown or have any permanent harm. Still, he was frightened. Per AHA you cannot allow the animals to be frightened to shoot a scene. We still don't know who was holding the dog and trying to force him in the pool. It had to have been someone with Birds and Animals Unlimited. It doesn't look like Beals or the other listed animal trainer.

http://tmz.vo.llnwd.net/o28/newsdesk/tmz_documents/0123_a_dogs_purpose_statement.pdf

This is from Gavin from the Hollywood Reporter.

"Last Thursday, I went to Amblin's office and watched all the film shot on the day in question, as well as saw video from the trainers and still photographs. As with the TMZ video that you saw, two things were evident: 1) the dog handler tries to force the dog, for 35 to 40 seconds, into the water when, clearly, he didn’t want to go in; and 2) in a separate take filmed sometime later, the dog did go into the water, on his own, and, at the end, his head is submerged for about 4 seconds. These two things are absolutely INEXCUSABLE and should NEVER have happened. The dog trainer should have stopped trying to get the dog to go in the water as soon as the dog seemed uncomfortable, and the trainers should have had support under the dog as soon as he came to the side of the pool and/or had less turbulence in the water so he never would have gone under. The American Humane Association (AHA) representative who is paid by the production to “ensure the safety and humane treatment of animal actors,” as its website states, should have also intervened immediately on both of those parts of the filming. So should have whomever was running the set. Those individuals should be held accountable and never used again by that studio or its affiliates.

I also hold myself accountable because, even though I was not present, I knew and had written about how ineffective AHA has been over the years. Its monitors have been present when bad things have happened to animals on sets, not offering enough protection to stop those events and displaying no real protest after they occurred. Though AHA is the standard guarantor of animal safety on all studio productions and I was not consulted when they nor the dog trainers were hired, I should have fought with the studio to come up with alternatives to serve those functions. I didn’t, and there is nothing to mitigate my inaction. I’m deeply sorry about that."

Full link

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/gavin-polone-a-dogs-purpose-outcry-what-happened-whos-blame-967160

01/21/2017 The producer has supposedly seen the "original full video." That is impossible because that was someone's personal cellphone video. The producer could have only seen the professional video the cameraman shot from a different angle. Of course the cameraman is not going to be shooting when the animal is just getting used to the water. Cameraman would only film when they were ready to shoot it for the film.

The producer said that the dog was in the water earlier that day and was fine. They just wanted to shoot it from the other side. Dog was not trained to jump in the water on the other side. Dog got scared.

That story makes no sense. The trainer was trying to dip the dog in the water so he would realize the water is warm. That is on the audio on the video. If the dog had indeed been in the water earlier, he would have already known it was warm.  Dog also would have been wet and not dry.

Producer went on to say the dog was not physically harmed or killed. We realize that. Still, the dog was frightened. When I worked for AHA we had to make sure the animals were not frightened. They said dog chasing cats can't be induced by fear. They must train the animals to follow the other and make it appear to be chased. That dog was clearly frightened. Everyone admitted that. That is against AHA regulations. The dog doesn't have to die for it to be a violation of AHA regs or cruelty.

I think that was first time dog was getting into the water with the jets on. Why not put him in the water with the jets off then slowly turn them on so he can get used to it? If you look at the final cut, the dog jumps off a wooden ledge. There's no water in the pic. The next frame is from another angle with the dog going into the water. The dog did not jump into the water on the final film. I haven't seen the full movie, only the trailer.

The producer now asks the question "why didn't they take the video to the media 15 months ago when it was filmed? Why did they wait for the press junket?" The answer is clear. The dog was not injured or in danger of dying. There would be no reason to make it public instantly. PETA or whomever released the tape to TMZ a week before the opening of the film and press junket. The reason was to get full media attention on the issue. FTR I don't support everything PETA does. I'm against circus and zoo animals. I support sanctuaries. I think there can be some safe and humane exhibit of animals for education or positive media. This movie could have been that positive media. There was no reason to scare the dog like that.

They also should have tested the jets to see if the dog could get sucked under like he was. If you angle jets against a corner, it will cause animals, people to get sucked under. There's a place on some famous rapids where if you don't go straight through the middle, you will get sucked under and sucked to the bottom of the river. They can't even get the dead body out because the force of the swirling water keeps the body pressed to the rocks.

http://ew.com/movies/2017/01/20/dogs-purpose-author-additional-footage-paints-different-picture/

Here are the AHA guidelines.

"If any animal appears aggressive, stressed and/or charges, threatens or bites any
person or animal, it shall be removed immediately from the set and location."

https://www.americanhumane.org/app/uploads/2016/08/Guidelines2015-WEB-Revised-110315-1.pdf

01/19/2017 "There will be no premiere for "A Dog's Purpose" because the studio that produced it is still reeling from the video posted showing it's animal star in distress.

Amblin and Universal studios are still reviewing footage that syncs up with the video TMZ posted to determine what happened to Hercules when he clearly was recoiling as his trainer tried pulling him into the water. The studios say the dog is fine and was never abused.

The studios know lots of people are upset after seeing the video. The studios have also canceled the press junkets."

This is sad all the way around. I know the main producer, actors love animals and would never want to see them harmed. They hoped the movie would want to make people adopt pets from shelters which is why they teamed up with Best Friends. I hoped the same. I personally feel what happened with the dog on the second production team was the result of underlings just trying to get the shot no matter what. I don't know who is the guy holding the dog and trying to get him in the water. I don't think it's Bean because he looks different. It's also not the other animal trainer who looks different. No other animal trainers are credited in the film. Did they let anyone try to force the dog in the pool? If AHA was there, what went wrong? I was trained by them, worked for them for one day so I know that they don't really care about animals. Still, what went wrong here.

_________________

I will predict that nothing happens to the people involved.

"A Dog's Purpose" crew members are now under investigation by Canada's Chief Veterinary Office, and jail time is on the table if the agency finds any wrongdoing.
The CVO tells TMZ it received a formal complaint on Wednesday, and has begun looking into what went down on the set during filming in Winnipeg.
TMZ posted the video of Hercules, a German Shepherd, appearing terrified to get in churning water to shoot a scene for the movie. The trainer tried for about 40 seconds to put Hercules in the pool. The CVO says it wasn't involved with the filming, because a rep from the American Humane Association was on set. That rep, we've learned, has since been suspended.
The Office could levy a fine up to $10k and/or sentence offenders to up to 6 months in jail."

PETA confirmed that all the animals in the film came from Birds and Animals Unlimited in Acton, California. That is the website and Facebook page that has been shut down all day.

"The animal-rights group is targeting a specific animal supplier — Acton, CA-based Birds & Animals Unlimited.

According to PETA, a manager at BAU told its undercover investigator that they provided all the dogs for the film and Deadline confirmed this evening that BAU handled the dog in the video."

The producer stated this,

“I’m horrified by this,” said Polone. “The first thing I asked was, ‘Is the dog OK?’ He’s fine. But if I had seen that, I would have stopped it in a minute. People have to be held responsible for this. It was someone’s job to watch out for this kind of thing. Why didn’t they? This is something I’ve written about before, whether it be circus animals or animals on set. American Humane are supposed to be there supervising. That’s their job that someone is paid a lot of money to do. Why wasn’t this stopped? There needs to be a better system than this. That’s what I’ve called for in the past. I agree with PETA that they not only need to make sure animals are treated properly on set, but they also need to find out where the animals are kept outside of the set. To make sure they are treated properly at all times.”

"Animal Justice says it has filed complaints with the Winnipeg Humane Society, the Chief Veterinary Office of Manitoba, and the Winnipeg police department alleging violations of federal and provincial animal protection laws.

“Throwing a terrified German Shepherd into rushing water is blatant animal cruelty,” Camille Labchuk, a lawyer and executive director of Animal Justice, said in a news release.

“It is illegal to inflict suffering and anxiety onto animals, and there is no loophole that lets Hollywood moviemakers get away with abusing animals on a film set."

"Actor Josh Gad, who lends his voice to a dog in the film, issued a statement on Twitter saying he has asked the studio and production team for an explanation of what he calls "disturbing images."

He said that while the finished film is "one of the most beautiful love letters to animals I have ever seen," he was troubled by the video.

"I am shaken and sad to see any animal put in a situation against its will," Gad wrote. A publicist for the actor confirmed the post was authentic."

The scene is included in the movie. You can't use film where someone, an animal was harmed. That's law so people won't make snuff films or intentionally do a dangerous stunt. Below are a few frames from the trailers.

A Dog's Purpose, animal cruelty, dog, water, Birds and Animals Unlimited, Ray Beal, Raymond Beal, Canada, Animal Advocates

A Dog's Purpose, animal cruelty, dog, water, Birds and Animals Unlimited, Ray Beal, Raymond Beal, Canada, Animal Advocates
A Dog's Purpose, animal cruelty, dog, water, Birds and Animals Unlimited, Ray Beal, Raymond Beal, Canada, Animal Advocates

A Dog's Purpose, animal cruelty, dog, water, Birds and Animals Unlimited, Ray Beal, Raymond Beal, Canada, Animal Advocates
A Dog's Purpose, animal cruelty, dog, water, Birds and Animals Unlimited, Ray Beal, Raymond Beal, Canada, Animal Advocates
A Dog's Purpose, animal cruelty, dog, water, Birds and Animals Unlimited, Ray Beal, Raymond Beal, Canada, Animal Advocates

The producers just said that the dog "Hercules" was not forced to perform and he's fine. They stated the film "A DOG'S PURPOSE, produced by Amblin Entertainment and distributed by Universal Pictures, is a celebration of the special connection between humans and their dogs. And in the spirit of this relationship, the Amblin production team followed rigorous protocols to foster an ethical and safe environment for the animals.

While we continue to review the circumstances shown in the edited footage, Amblin is confident that great care and concern was shown for the German Shepherd Hercules, as well as for all of the other dogs featured throughout the production of the film. There were several days of rehearsal of the water scenes to ensure Hercules was comfortable with all of the stunts. On the day of the shoot, Hercules did not want to perform the stunt portrayed on the tape so the Amblin production team did not proceed with filming that shot.

Hercules is happy and healthy."

Sounds like bullshit to me.

Story gets worse! American Humane Association was on set monitoring the animal. The inspector said and did nothing! I was trained by AHA and worked for them for a day. They side with the filmmaker over the animals.

"The representative from the American Humane Association who was on the set of "A Dog's Purpose" has been suspended after officials saw video of a terrorized dog on set."

Disturbing video below showing an animal trainer forcing his dog into turbulent water who then goes under was posted on TMZ earlier today. The scene was part of the movie "A Dog's Purpose" which is coming out January 27, 2017.



The animal trainers listed for the film are Raymond Beal of Birds and Animals Unlimited and Brian Turi of Studio Animals. The film "A Dog's Purpose" partners with VCA and Best Friends. We sent a polite email asking about the footage to ir@vca.com ericr@bestfriends.org studioanimals@gmail.com California@birdsandanimals.com. We will post their reply when they reply. The man in the video does not look like Brian Turi. It looks like Ray Beal a little. He works with that type of dog. Here's a pic of him. I am not 100% positive that Ray is the person in the video. The person in the video appears to be balding and has red hair. Maybe it is the water safety person? I've asked all involved who it was but no response. Nonetheless the trainer and AHA person should have been watching out for the dog and not allowed that shot.

Ray Beal, Raymond Beal animal trainer "A Dog's Purpose" Birds and Animals Unlimited, california, cruelty, movie
This is from a behind the scenes of the movie. This is one of the handlers. It looks like Ray Beal. I wonder if the guy is the AHA person. We had to wear our shirts and hat on set. I worked for them for one day though went through a week of training.



Mary Cummins
of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game and the USDA. Mary Cummins is also a licensed real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California.


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