By Lauren Huff
July 16, 2020 at 08:11 PM EDT
Film Title: A Dog's Purpose
Credit: Joe Lederer/Universal
  • Movie

Dennis Quaid is speaking out about a controversial video from the set of his 2017 film A Dog's Purpose that forced the cancellation of the movie's premiere.

In the video, a German shepherd named Hercules can be seen clawing at the edge of a pool and trying to get out as a trainer attempts to force him into the turbulent water. Off camera, a voice can be heard laughing at the dog's efforts and saying, "You just got to throw him in." The video prompted PETA to call for a boycott of the film.

In a new episode of Quaid's pet podcast The Pet Show, the actor recalls the incident and says the entire video "was a scam" and no dogs were in danger. "What happened was the dog jumps into the water… there were divers, scuba divers, three of them, underneath the water," Quaid says. "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.

"What it doesn't show," Quaid continues, "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."

With regard to the part of the video in which Hercules claws at the sides of the pool, Quaid says that the clip does not tell the full story. "[The dog] goes under, and that's where the guy cuts," Quaid says. "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."

An independent investigation into the incident found "that no animals were harmed in those scenes and numerous preventative safety measures were in place."

The Pet Show, which Quaid is putting on alongside writer Jimmy Jellinek, releases two new episodes a week and features celebrity guests who love pets, as well as the latest in pet care, pet style, pet media, and celebrity pet influencers. The venture comes by way of Audio Up, the podcast company co-founded by Quaid.

Related content:

A Dog's Purpose

  • Movie
  • PG
  • 120 minutes
  • Lasse Hallstrom