Amazon Prime cancels series after PETA slammed treatment of dogs

Amazon Prime has reportedly cancelled The Pack after PETA slammed the show over leaked footage showing dogs dangling over a steep drop and slamming into rocks while strapped to humans rappelling down a cliff face.

The Amazing Race-style series, hosted by Olympian Lindsey Vonn and her dog Lucy, featured humans and their pooches competing in challenges described by the animal rights group as ‘dangerous situations,’ The Wrap reported

Editing room floor videos, which appear to be taken from a cell phone, show the pups hanging between their owner’s legs while slamming into the cliff face and flailing their paws in a desperate bid to scramble to safety. 

The videos, taken from raw footage, were shot at the 108-foot Los Campesinos Falls in Costa Rica for the show’s third episode, The Wrap reported.

The show was released on Amazon Prime on November 20 and 10 episodes of the show are available for streaming. The leaked footage was not used in the episode. 

WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE 

Amazon Prime has reportedly cancelled its new reality show The Pack after video leaked showing pets repelling down a waterfall with their owners

Amazon Prime has reportedly cancelled its new reality show The Pack after video leaked showing pets repelling down a waterfall with their owners

Images show dogs slamming into a cliff face in Costa Rica while strapped into harnesses

Images show dogs slamming into a cliff face in Costa Rica while strapped into harnesses

PETA said it was 'thrilled' the show was cancelled and praised Amazon for making 'the compassionate decision'

PETA said it was ‘thrilled’ the show was cancelled and praised Amazon for making ‘the compassionate decision’ 

Dog trainers helped teach pups specific skills needed to compete in show challenges

Dog trainers helped teach pups specific skills needed to compete in show challenges

Amazon had plugged its focus on animal safety in marketing leading to the show's release

Amazon said it hired dog trainers to help design challenges

Amazon had plugged its focus on animal safety in marketing leading to the show’s release, including hiring dog trainers who helped design challenges

Daily Mail has reached out to Amazon for confirmation and additional information. 

Lewis Crary, PETA’s Assistant Manager of Pets Animals in Film and Television Division, told DailyMail.com that the organization was ‘so thrilled that Amazon made the compassionate decision to cancel this show.’

‘Whenever dogs are used for film and television they get the short end of the stick. On a set, time is money and animal needs are compromised in the name of ratings,’ Crary said.

‘Nothing says 2020 like a reality show dangling dogs over water falls and swinging them into rock faces. Animals are individuals and they are not props and gimmicks to use for reality TV.’

Crary added that the organization was responding to the ‘disturbing images’ in the repelling videos, but was additionally concerned about the possibility of other unused content.

The show is hosted by Olympian skier Lindsey Vonn and her dog Lucy

The show is hosted by Olympian skier Lindsey Vonn and her dog Lucy

Vonn, 36, won the gold medal in downhill at the 2010 Winter Olympics

Vonn, 36, won the gold medal in downhill at the 2010 Winter Olympics

‘It’s really the unknown of – if this series was comfortable with that scene, then what else didn’t we see and what else Amazon executives knew that forced their handle to cancel this,’ he said.

‘Being a part of a pack means protecting your companion, not strapping them to a harness and helplessly lowering them down a cliff. PETA hopes everyone involved takes a lesson from the footage and Amazon’s moment of clarity.’

Amazon touted its focus on animal safety in marketing leading to the show’s premiere, according to a report in Variety

Dog trainers were brought on to teach the pups specific skills needed to compete and consulted on challenge development.

‘All of the dogs ride in crash-tested harnesses or carriers, and we didn’t just put the harnesses on the dogs,’ trainer Nicole Ellis said.

‘We really broke it down: showed them a harness, [they] got a treat; showed them a harness, [they] got a treat. It was multiple steps before they even wore a harness. And that went for safety goggles, booties, equipment.’

Executive producer Jay Bienstock told the outlet that dog safety experts had ‘absolute power’ on site to address concerns.

‘If dog safety said, “Stop this,” we would stop. We gave them a pass at everything,’ he said.

The 36-year-old Vonn, an alpine ski racer, won the gold medal in downhill at the 2010 Winter Olympics – the first one for an American woman. She announced her retirement from professional skiing in 2019, citing injuries.

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