- Brooke Houts, a YouTuber, accidentally uploaded a video to her channel this week showing her hitting and appearing to spit at her dog.
- Since the news spread, the Los Angeles Police Department has launched an animal-cruelty investigation, and PETA has called on YouTube to remove Houts from the video platform.
- Houts has removed the video and apologized on Twitter, maintaining that she’s not an animal abuser “in any way, shape, or form.”
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Police have launched an animal-cruelty investigation into a Los Angeles-based YouTuber who accidentally uploaded a video online that showed her hitting and appearing to spit on her dog.
The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed to Business Insider that its animal-cruelty task force is aware of the situation with the YouTuber Brooke Houts and “looking into the matter.”
In the video, Houts is seen on at least three separate occasions screaming at and smacking her dog after he playfully jumps up on her while she’s trying to film the YouTube video. The video in question has since been deleted from YouTube, but others were quick to upload their own versions, and Houts was subsequently reamed online.
Additionally, the Los Angeles chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has been alerted of the incident after receiving multiple reports from concerned people, the organization wrote on Twitter. The animal-rights organization PETA has publicly called on YouTube to remove Houts from the platform.
Neither YouTube nor Houts has responded to Business Insider’s requests for comment.
Houts, who has just over 300,000 subscribers on YouTube, often uploads content to her channel featuring her dog, a Doberman named Sphinx. The most recent video was an attempt at a popular pet prank, dubbed the “invisible challenge,” where owners put up plastic wrap in the frame of a doorway and see how their animals react to it.
In one clip from the video, the dog jumps on Houts while she’s filming for the video. In turn, Houts holds down the dog, yells “stop” at him, and appears to spit on him just out of frame of the camera – although Houts has said she didn’t do that.
Houts has since issued an apology on Twitter to “anyone who has been effected negatively by the footage.” In an extensive statement written in the iPhone Notes app, Houts wrote that she had been having a “less than exceptional” week and said she was showing him “as a dog parent” that his behavior was unacceptable.
“I am not going to play the ‘victim card’ or anything of that sort, but I do want to point out that I am rarely as upset as what was shown in the footage,” Houts wrote on Twitter. “Anyone who knows me personally know I have an immense love for animals, including my own … He was not hurt, nor has he ever been purposefully hurt by me.”
Many of the 31,000 users who have commented on Houts’ apology tweet have called on the dog to be taken out of Houts’ care. The YouTuber Ethan Klein, who runs the comedy channel H3H3 productions, volunteered on Twitter to adopt the dog at “any price.”