Police are currently investigating a popular YouTuber who appeared to abuse her dog in an online video.
American YouTuber Brooke Houts uploaded the wrong video file to her channel, which showed her abusing her doberman puppy.
The content creator, who has over 330,000 subscribers, insists she’s not a dog abuser.
The 20 year old YouTuber uploaded a video to her channel which showed her hitting and pushing around her dog, Sphinx, which in a video released a week earlier she called a puppy.
The video opens with Houts animatedly saying that she’s going to prank her dog by wrapping plastic wrap on the entrance to a door and then calling him through. The video then cuts to Houts standing in the doorway. As the doberman jumps up on her, she appears to smack him on the nose.
It then cuts to footage of her grabbing the dog roughly and pinning him to the ground and shouting, “Stop”. While out of frame of the camera, Houts appears to spit on the dog.
In the last shot of the video, it shows Sphinx licking her hand before she roughly pushes him out of frame. In the reflection of the television in the background, Twitter users have speculated that Houts appears to kick the dog.
While the video is no longer live on her YouTube channel, popular YouTube drama channel KeemStar uploaded the video to his Twitter account.
Alongside the video, he tweeted: "SHOCKING! YouTuber @brookehouts uploads a unedited wrong video file to her channel! The Unedited version shows her ABUSING HER DOG!"
— KEEM 🍿 (@KEEMSTAR) August 7, 2019
What Brooke Houts has said
At 2am on 7 August, Houts uploaded screenshots of the notes app with a long message addressing the situation. In the screenshot, it shows that it was written at 5:51pm on 6 August.
She tweeted, “To everyone who had been commenting on my social media as of recently.”
In the note, she wrote, “First off, I want to address the uncut footage. On the day in particular that the video was filmed, and actually this past week, things in my outside life have been less than exceptional.”
She goes on to write that she is “not going to play the ‘victim card’” and then states that she’s playing up how happy she is in the video when in reality she’s “frustrated”.
“That being said, this does NOT justify me yelling at my dog in the way that I did, and I’m fully aware of that,” the note continues.
Houts does try to justify her actions by writing, “When my 75 lb Doberman is jumping up in my face with his mouth open, I do, as a dog parent, have to show him that this behaviour is unacceptable.”
She ends the note by explaining that “he gets all the treats he could ever want” and by thanking her audience for pointing out something they see as wrong and opening a discussion about it.
She finishes, “I hope you give me the chance to prove that these statements about myself do align with my actions.”
Users have taken to Twitter to express their anger and disappointment at the situation.
One user wrote, “Sick of seeing these YouTubers do something super s*****, then come to twitter with a long paragraph message complaining about irrelevant s*** to try and cover their actions. Brooke Houts abused her dog on video and accidentally uploaded it and now has the LAPD investigating her.”
Another tweeted, “Brooke Houts abusing her dog… it’s frightening how her face changes from “we love you!” to disgust at the poor thing. She switches from pure venom to awful contrived smiles for the camera. It put chills down my spine. Hoping someone takes the dog & gets her some help.”
“I’m sorry but Brooke Houts should not be allowed on YouTube anymore, she spat & hit her dog for being a dog, I don’t want to share a website with an animal abuser, if YouTube lets her get away with this I may have to find another website to watch videos,” stated another Twitter user.
Many Twitter users have been tweeting to the YouTube account directly asking for Houts’ channel to be taken down in light of the video.
“@YouTube should remove the Brooke Houts channel for #AnimalAbuse and send her a clear message that taking her frustrations out on her dog will not be tolerated,” tweeted one user.
Speaking to The Verge, a Los Angeles Police Department media representative said, “Our Animal Cruelty Task Force has received numerous complaints about the video you’re speaking of and we’re currently looking into the matter.”
In California, animal abuse laws are held under Penal Code 597 PC, which makes it a crime to kill, physically harm, neglect or overwork an animal. PC 597 animal abuse can be charged as either a misdemeanour or a felony.
PC 597 protects domesticated pets, stray animals, wild animals and farmed animals.
If someone is convicted of PC 597 animal cruelty as a misdemeanour, the consequences include:
Up to one year in a county jailA maximum $20,000 fine
Penalties for a felony conviction in California are 16 months, or two or three years in the California state prison and the same maximum fine.
Additional consequences include, but are not limited to:
Having the animal(s) permanently removed from your carePaying the costs associated with housing the animal(s) from the time of seizure to the time of your convictionCompleting court ordered counselling as a term of your California probation sentence
This article originally appeared on our sister site Edinburgh Evening News