Dennis Quaid called animal cruelty controversy surrounding 'A Dog's Purpose' a 'scam' on new podcast

The premiere of the film was called off after animal rights activists complained

Dennis Quaid is speaking out about the controversy that surrounded his 2017 movie “A Dog’s Purpose,” denouncing the incident as overblown hype.

Days prior to the film’s release, a video emerged from the set showing a German shepherd being forced into rough water in order to create a scene that takes place in a river. Many were outraged by the video as it appeared to show the dog being abused, forced into the choppy water and lifted up by its collar.

The incident ultimately led to the cancellation of the film’s premiere and sparked an internal review of the incident. However, speaking on a new podcast series that he both produces and co-hosts, Quaid said the video looks much worse than it is and notes that the dog was not in any danger, calling the whole thing a “scam.”

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“What happened was the dog jumps into the water … there were divers, scuba divers, three of them, underneath the water," the 66-year-old actor explained (via People). “One of the trainers reached down to give the dog a rest, and he pulled him up, and it looks like he's pulling him up and choking him by the collar."

Actor Dennis Quaid talked about the controversy surrounding the 2017 movie 'A Dog's Purpose.'

Actor Dennis Quaid talked about the controversy surrounding the 2017 movie 'A Dog's Purpose.' (Reuters)

He goes on to claim that the video, which sparked outrage in many animal rights activists, is misleading.

“What it doesn't show," Quaid says, "is that there's a table right below the dog, so the dog can rest his feet on the table. He's not just being held up."

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He also addressed the alarming moment in the video where the dog goes underwater, sparking a bit of panic among the crew members on set. Quaid explained that there was more going on there than the video was able to show.

“Well, there were two divers waiting for him right there, it wasn't even a second and a half. They lifted him up, handed him to the trainer right by the pool and the dog didn't even wait to get a collar on, he ran right to the other side of the pool to do it again. He loved it."

The independent review of the incident would eventually determine that no animals were harmed on the set of the film.

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Quaid’s remarks come by way of his new podcast series “The Pet Show” in which he and co-host Jimmy Jellinek discuss all things having to do with pet ownership, pet-related news and go in-depth on stories involving animals’ impact on historical events.