People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is calling for a boycott of the upcoming film “A Dog’s Life” after video surfaced of alleged on-set animal abuse. In a video released by TMZ, a trainer can be seen forcing a German shepherd into rushing water as part of a scene in which a police dog rescues someone from tumultuous waters.

According to TMZ, the scene was originally shot outside Winnipeg, Canada in November 2015. The dog can be seen resisting the trainer’s attempts to get him into the water, which was made to look like “a rushing river” using eight outboard motors. The dog is eventually forced into the water, but he appears to be rescued later in the clip after becoming submerged. After reviewing the video, Amblin Partners and Universal Pictures told TMZ:

“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 and we will look into the circumstances surrounding this video.”

PETA is now encouraging people to “avoid contributing to this cruel practice” by not only boycotting “A Dog’s Purpose,” but any other films that use live animals. They encourage others to share the video along with the message that “animals aren’t ‘actors’ and that they often suffer both on and off camera when used for entertainment.”

Leaked “A Dog’s Purpose” Video Alleges Animal Abuse

Since PETA issued their statement, those involved in the filmmaking process have responded to the video and criticism. According to Entertainment Weekly, the filmmakers intend on pursuing an investigation into the alleged abuse, while stressing their commitment to safe working conditions for the animals. In a series of tweets, director Lasse Hallstrom said that any wrongdoings would be reported and punished.

Amblin Partners and Universal Pictures also indicated that the dog, Hercules, and any other dogs used in the production were shown great care. According to the statement on EW, the day the leaked incident was recorded, “Hercules did not want to perform the stunt portrayed on the tape so the Amblin production team did not proceed with filming that shot.”

Josh Gad, who voices the dog throughout his various stages of life, also expressed his concerns on social media. In his statement, he details how touched he was upon originally hearing the story behind the film that “captures the beauty and pain of loving a pet.” He clarifies, however, that he was never actually on set and was “shaken” to see the “disturbing images” of the dog being forced into the water against his will. Gad indicated that he is awaiting an explanation from the production and studio teams.

Many on social media were equally sad to see such disturbing footage and vowed to not see the movie, despite the anticipation surrounding it. One Twitter user referred to the video as “absolutely disgusting,” saying that it went against every feel-good message the film seemed to share when it comes to an animal’s meaning in life.

Others pointed out the fact that a dog’s purpose should never include abuse, joining in on the boycott of the film.

Social Media Calls for “A Dog’s Purpose” Boycott After “Disgusting” Video Leaks

A Dog’s Purpose” tells the story how one dog attempts to find his purpose over the course of different lifetimes. It stars Gad, Dennis Quaid and Britt Robertson and is based on W. Bruce Cameron’s 2010 novel of the same name. The official trailer for the film, which is set to be released Friday, Jan. 27, has been viewed more than 8 million times.

What are your thoughts on the TMZ video showing the alleged animal abuse? Will you be seeing “A Dog’s Purpose” next week? Sound off in the comments section below!