Dennis Quaid has broken his silence following a disturbing video that appeared to show a German shepherd being mistreated on set of his upcoming film, A Dog's Purpose.
"I was there. I never saw any abuse of any animal. If there had been, I would have walked," Quaid, 62, told Entertainment Tonight. "My experience is that the animals were treated great. There was no animal abuse. That video that someone took and sold for money and held on to for a year and a half until right before the film's coming out, does not tell the whole story. First of all, it's been edited and manipulated. And I think it's a scam, to tell you the truth."
Last week, TMZ posted a video of a frightened German shepherd being forced to perform a stunt on set. A handler pushed the distressed animal into a pool of rushing water after someone off camera yelled, "Just throw him in." The disturbing clip led PETA to ask moviegoers to boycott the film, and the premiere and media junket were later canceled amid public outcry.
However, Quaid doesn't think that the video tells the whole story. "It makes me angry, to tell you the truth," he continued to ET. "What they saw was completely out of context. It was edited…and all of the footage I saw, the dog was going into the water happily and had to be restrained, actually, from going into the water many times during that day."
One of the film's producers, Gavin Polone, also said the video was misleading, but called the incident "absolutely inexcusable."
"The dog did the scene in rehearsal without problem, though it was from the left side of the pool, not the right side, which is where the dog is in the TMZ video … Before the first real take, the handlers were asked to change the start point of the dog from the left side, where he had rehearsed, to the right side. That, evidently, is what caused him to be spooked," Polone explained in an op-ed published by The Hollywood Reporter on Monday, January 23. "The TMZ video only shows the unfinished take of when the dog was on the right side. What is clear from viewing all the footage was that the dog was NEVER forced into the water."
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