Thanks to a dog-loving donor, PETA is offering a reward of $5,000 to the person who shot and leaked the now-infamous video footage of a terrified dog who was forced into churning water on the set of A Dog’s Purpose—an act that even the film’s producer admits never should have happened. The footage led to the revelation that the dog came from Hollywood animal supplier Birds & Animals Unlimited (BAU), where a PETA video exposé revealed that animals were denied adequate veterinary care and forced to sleep outdoors in the cold without bedding for warmth, among other things. Since then, American Humane, which was on set and whose representative did not stop the filming when the dog was struggling, has defended the dog’s treatment—but has found itself under fire for its failure to prevent and address dozens of deaths and injuries on the sets of films and television productions over the years, including The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and HBO’s Luck.
The whistleblower, whose anonymity will be protected, is invited to call PETA’s whistleblower hotline at 323-210-2233.
“Thanks to this person who thought to capture the incident, the world caught a tiny glimpse of what animals endure simply to make a movie,” says PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. “Animal abusers rely on secrecy, and since the animals can’t rely on protection from filmmakers or on-set monitors who regard them as props, PETA hopes this reward will encourage anyone who witnesses on-set cruelty or neglect to come forward. The evidence will be gratefully received.”
While PETA has had a whistleblower hotline and reward fund for years, this reward comes courtesy of a donor who was horrified by the behind-the-scenes footage and shocked by PETA’s video exposé of BAU.