Dog forced into rushing water on movie set sparks probe

A screenshot from the video shows the dog struggling as it is pushed into the rushing water.
A screenshot from the video shows the dog struggling as it is pushed into the rushing water.PHOTO: YOUTUBE

LOS ANGELES - Movie chiefs are investigating after a video surfaced showing a terrified German shepherd dog being forced into rushing water during the filming of A Dog's Purpose.

Amblin Partners and Universal Pictures have seen the video and have told TMZ they will look into the circumstances surrounding it.

"Fostering a safe environment and ensuring the ethical treatment of our animal actors was of the utmost importance to those involved in making this film," they told the celebrity news website.

The video shows one of the dogs in the upcoming movie desperately resisting as a handler tries to get it into the water.

TMZ says it obtained the video of a scene shot in a pool outside Winnipeg, Canada, in November 2015.

The site says the dog was one of at least five used in the production.

Outboard motors were used to churn the water to recreate a rushing river.

The dog eventually goes into the water but is quickly submerged, sparking seeming panic among those on set.

Someone yells, "Cut it!" and handlers rush to the animal.

TMZ, pointing to sources, says director Lasse Hallstrom was present the whole time, and at least one member of the crew was extremely disturbed by the dog's treatment during the scene.

A Dog's Purpose, starring Britt Robertson and Dennis Quaid, is adapted from the 2010 best-selling novel by humorist W. Bruce Cameron and is the story of a devoted dog (voiced by Josh Gad) who finds purpose by teaching humans to laugh and love.

The movie is in US theatres from Jan 27, 2017.