Few things can ruin a movie for audiences faster than an injured, sick, or dead dog onscreen. Aside from John Wick getting a multi-film franchise out of his departed pet, viewers rarely feel comfortable watching dogs suffer, even in fictional tales.
Fortunately, as Simplemost reports, there’s a way to pre-screen your entertainment for the presence of disturbing canine-related content in movies, television, and books: Head over to DoestheDogDie.com and type in your selection. If the site has the title in its database—there are currently more than 4000 films and roughly 838 television series—it will pull up a list of user-generated answers. For example, type in 1957’s Old Yeller, the infamous feature in which the titular dog has to be put down during the film’s climax, and you’ll see that the dog does indeed meet an untimely end. Search for 1984’s Ghostbusters and you’ll find that no dogs are depicted as being harmed.
The site covers a variety of animals, including cats and horses, and even points out if a film has other common triggers like clowns, plane crashes, or the use of needles. It’s free to use, but $12 a year will remove ads from your browsing experience.
As for 2014's John Wick: the site does indeed caution viewers about the fate of Wick’s dog. As one user wrote: “Yes, and it’s terrible, BUT John Wick spends the rest of the movie deliberately, gloriously, and violently avenging the dog, so it feels really pro-dog overall.”