A Dog’s Purpose, a heartwarming new film about a dog’s discovery of the meaning of his existence through reincarnations, has been dealing with allegations of animal abuse.

> WATCH uINTERVIEW ‘DOG’S PURPOSE’ AUTHOR BRUCE CAMERON

The accusations began after a video leaked last week showing a terrified German shepherd being forced into a churning pool by a trainer. In the video, the dog is dropped into turbulent waters that he clearly did not want to be in, and at the end, had to be pulled out by crew members.

The video was swiftly met with shock and condemnation. Pet lovers said they’d skip the movie, a premiere for the film was cancelled last week, and PETA called for a boycott of the film.

Now, one of the stars of the film, Dennis Quaid, speaks out and defends the film and its treatment of animals. “I was there. I never saw any abuse of any animal. If there had been, I would have walked. My experience is that the animals were treated great,” Quaid told Entertainment Tonight. “There was no animal abuse.”

Quaid went on to accuse the leaker of purposefully painting an inaccurate story for monetary gains.

“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.”

The actor’s statements are in line with producer Gavin Polone‘s sentiments in an op-ed published this morning. Though Polone admitted that the actions portrayed in the video were “absolutely INEXCUSABLE,” he rejected accusations that the dog was mistreated.

“That was towards the end of the day and I would not say, in real context, that the dog was frightened,” Quaid revealed. “The dog was acting like a dog who was kind of tired of taking a bath and was ready to get out. And, in fact, that’s what happened. They took the dog out.”

Quaid’s comments further backed up the producer’s claims. Quaid insisted, “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.”

The actor went on to reveal that he had a purpose connection to canines.

A Dog’s Purpose, directed by Lasse Hallström and based on the novel by W. Bruce Cameron, is set to be released nationwide on January 27, 2017.

 

Read more about: