The release of a video last week showing a terrified dog on the set of A Dog’s Purpose being forced into a pool against its will for a stunt prompted swift outrage from animal-rights groups, with PETA leading the charge to boycott the film. A producer for the canine family drama, as well as its writer and animal supplier, have released statements defending the footage, and now one of the film’s stars, Dennis Quaid, is also joining in on the defense. “I was there. I never saw any abuse of any animal. If there had been, I would have walked,” Quaid told Entertainment Tonight in a new interview. “My experience is that the animals were treated great. There was no animal abuse.” Quaid also harshly questioned the timeliness of the video’s release. “That video that someone took and sold for money and held onto for a year and a half until right before the film’s coming out, does not tell the whole story,” he said. “First of all, it’s been edited and manipulated. And I think it’s a scam, to tell you the truth.”
Quaid continued to stress that there was no animal abuse on the set of the film, and offered another point of view for the German shepherd’s behavior. “That was towards the end of the day and I would not say, in real context, that the dog was frightened,” he said. “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.” Though the premiere of A Dog’s Purpose was canceled in wake of the video, it’s still set for a January 27 release.