YouTubers often find themselves in hot water (lest we forget the Logan Paul suicide forest scandal that rocked the headlines last year), but it's not often that you catch one physically abusing an animal. Brooke Houts accidentally posted an unedited video to her channel, which boasts an impressive 328,000 subscribers. The 20-year-old has come under fire after the footage showed her acting aggressively towards her Doberman dog, Sphinx. According to Women's Health, the incident is now being investigated for animal abuse.
Please note the following footage may be distressing for some viewers.
@YouTube Surely she should have her channel taken down, when her whole thing is about her dog and this is how she treats him. People who treat dogs like this don't do it just once cause they had a bad day, it's either in you or it isn't.— Blue (@JulZD1997) August 7, 2019
In the video, Houts tells her followers that she's going to prank her dog. By covering up a doorway with cling film, she calls the pup, intending to see what happens when he tries to enter the room. Although some found this "prank" in poor taste and cruel to start with, things quickly take a sinister turn. Becomingly increasingly frustrated with Sphinx as he keeps wandering into the shot, the vlogger violently hits him. Later, she shoves the pup before seemingly pinning him down and spitting on him. Despite taking the unedited version down straight away and replacing it with the correct version on Tuesday, August 6, the damage had already been done.
Many have called Houts' behavior deplorable, while some are calling for the dog to be taken out of her care. The LA Police Department has already launched an investigation according to media outlets, after receiving "numerous complaints" about the video. In the wake of the controversy, Houts issued an apology on Twitter.
To everyone who has been commenting on my social media as of recently: pic.twitter.com/gnxUbfVHdf— b (@brookehouts) August 7, 2019
"I would never do anything to purposefully physically or mentally harm any animal," she pleaded. Although she admitted she took "unnecessary action" toward the dog, Houts went on to say she spoils him with treats and is a good "dog mom." She also denied spitting on Sphinx. The apology did little to placate the wider public. At the time of writing, a poll conducted by Women's Health saw 94% of readers against her. Those that have seen the video seem to agree that the dog, who wasn't acting aggressively during the incident, simply wanted to play.
"That goes way beyond negative reinforcement," wrote one user. "Your dog is being a dog, you were being a piece of sh*t human being," said another. The investigation into the animal abuse allegations is ongoing.