The American Humane Association, the organisation which supervised animals on the film's set, issued a report concluding that no animals were harmed during the making of A Dog's objective, following a third-party investigation by a respected animal cruelty expert.
"No animals were harmed in those scenes and numerous preventative safety measures were in place", the investigation found.
TMZ obtained footage from the filming of a stunt involving a German shepherd named Hercules struggling with a person who appears to be a trainer as rough waves churned in a pool. It also recognized that handlers could have been more cautious, given the dog in the video appeared "momentarily stressed".
In January, a video from the set of the film was released to TMZ.
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CBC News has contacted American Humane for a full copy of the report and the name of the investigating entity but has not yet heard back.
American Humane says the investigation confirmed preliminary findings that the two scenes shown in the edited video were filmed at different times and that the first scene was stopped after the dog showed signs of stress.
The investigation also revealed that the dog in question had been selected for its love of swimming, and that it had gone through a six-week conditioning course. American Humane trained the animals used on the set of the Manitoba-shot film. The clear signs of the dog's panic caused an internet firestorm, with star Josh Gad distancing himself from the project and PETA calling for an immediate boycott of the film. "The decisions by the individual or individuals who captured and deliberately edited the footage, and then waited longer than 15 months to release the manipulated video only days before the movie' premiere, raise serious questions about their motives and ethics", states the report. "A separate, independent, board certified Veterinary Behaviorist brought in to examine the events concluded that there was 'no lasting stress response or conditioned fear of the water as a result, ' " notes the website.
The news release maintains that "throughout its work on the set, the dog was treated with great care, attentiveness, and respect", offering several examples. However, it said that this was recognized and the scene did not proceed as insinuated by the video.