Three dog trainers have reportedly been accused of animal cruelty after they allegedly used cayenne pepper to get the show dogs to perform a scene at Pennsylvania shoot. The trainers were asked to get dogs who acted like they have eaten cayenne pepper for performance in a scene for Manhunt: Lone Wolf. Antonio Spencer and Ed Wiernik will face two counts of animal cruelty while Philip Hoelcher may have to face four counts according to reports published in August. Philip Hoelcher denied any such claims. It was during the shooting that a worker of the show's camera department at the sets called the helpline complaining against the trainers of animal cruelty.
According to the requirement of a scene, the trainers were asked to train the dogs in a way like they have eaten a cayenne pepper. The dogs did not react to the situation as they were instructed to, so the trainers took a little amount of the pepper and put it on their nose. The technique at that time did not work so they took more cayenne pepper. After it was used on the dog's nose, the dog immediately dropped down to the ground and it attempted to rub the face with dirt and foliage. The dog kept repeating it as it was feeling very uncomfortable. The producers of the show said that they have a good record of animal protection till now and they take the allegations of animal cruelty very seriously. Hoelcher, however, denied the allegations saying he could never do something like this to get the dogs act in a particular way.
According to doctors, using cayenne pepper on the nose of an animal causes serious medical emergencies. It can get the dog feel irritation and burning of the mucous membranes of nose and throat passageways to respiratory distress which may ultimately lead to embolism, respiratory arrest or death. Another medical expert said that exposure of a dog to cayenne pepper may get the animal reaction to cause the spice to spread which leads to more irritation and it may last for many days. He also added that to keep the dogs away from the unwanted areas in a house or plants, pepper is recommended. He is strictly against the use of pepper as it may cause some serious health risks to the dog.