The clip, which was posted online Wednesday, shows what appears to be a handler forcing a German Shepard named Hercules into a pool of rushing water. The video spurred calls from PETA and viewers to boycott the film. Vanderpump, a longtime dog lover, had filmed a commercial promoting A Dog's Purpose. Now, she says, she plans on donating her ad paycheck to her Vanderpump Dog Foundation.
"YES I saw the film and it was truly a wonderful movie, but of course as a dog lover, I was saddened and disappointed the way the German Shepherd was treated, as I am any time I see a dog in distress," the Vanderpump Rules and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star told E! News in a statement Thursday.
"It's why I started www.VanderpumpDogs.org and we (Ken and I and my partner Dr. John Sessa) are opening the dog rescue center in L.A.," she said. "And the fee for working with the film is going to the shelter."
Vanderpump's group helps rescue and provide medical treatment to abandoned dogs all over the world.
The star has several dogs herself—including her most popular pet Giggy, a Pomeranian. She rescued a new one, Prince Harry, a year ago.
An on-set monitor with American Humane, a group that ensures the safety of animals used in film and TV productions and which awards its "No Animals Were Harmed" certification to films, was placed on leave after the disturbing video was leaked.
"American Humane has reviewed the video and we are disturbed and concerned by the footage," the group said in a statement to E! News Thursday. "When the dog showed signs of resistance to jumping in the water, the scene should have been stopped. We are placing the safety representative who was on the set on administrative leave immediately and are bringing in an independent third party to conduct an investigation into this matter."
A Dog's Purpose's production company, Amblin Entertainment, said its team "followed rigorous protocols to foster an ethical and safe environment for the animals."
"While we continue to review the circumstances shown in the edited footage, Amblin is confident that great care and concern was shown for the German Shepherd Hercules, as well as for all of the other dogs featured throughout the production of the film," the group said in a statement to E! News.
"There were several days of rehearsal of the water scenes to ensure Hercules was comfortable with all of the stunts," the statement continued. "On the day of the shoot, Hercules did not want to perform the stunt portrayed on the tape so the Amblin production team did not proceed with filming that shot. Hercules is happy and healthy."