Kiwi actor KJ Apa has revealed he received death threats as a result of his role in A Dog's Purpose.

The film - and subsequently Apa - came under fire when footage "leaked" of a dog being thrown into a river on set.

Why Survivor NZ host 'had the s**ts'
Kiwi model stars in Selena Gomez and Kygo music video

"As soon as that came out, I was getting a lot of shit for it on social media, even death threats," Apa said, speaking to Fairfax.


"I didn't even work with that dog."

The footage, which was released three days prior to the film's US premiere by PETA, has since been investigated and proven to be fake, but the damage was done.

Apa was forced to defend himself at the time, saying he was "saddened" to see it the footage and found it "troubling".

"I love all animals and would never, ever condone inhumane treatment or abuse of an animal at any time," Apa wrote.

An investigation found the footage had been "deliberately edited for the purpose of misleading the public and stoking public outrage".