The Los Angeles Police Department has launched an investigation into Brooke Houts after a viral YouTube video captures the vlogger abusing her dog.
“Our Animal Cruelty Task Force has received numerous complaints about the video you’re speaking of and we are currently looking into the matter,” an LAPD media representative told The Verge.
Houts has over 330,000 subscribers, and recorded a video of herself seemingly smacking and spitting on her dog. The 'unedited' version was apparently uploaded as a mistake and taken down later.
YouTube didn't reply to The Verge about whether further action is being taken against Houts’ channel, but the platform bans videos that include or incite abuse towards any animals.
Houts issued a statement on Twitter after the clip went viral, apologising to “anyone who has been affected negatively by the footage" and saying; “things in my outside life have been less than exceptional.”
The YouTuber later defended herself by saying her dog is 75 pounds and “when he is jumping up in my face with his mouth open, I, as a dog parent, have to show him that this behaviour is unacceptable.”
“But I want to make it known that regardless of what my dog does, I should not have acted that way towards him,” Houts said.
To everyone who has been commenting on my social media as of recently: pic.twitter.com/gnxUbfVHdf
— b (@brookehouts) August 7, 2019
YouTubers including Logan Paul (of all people) have referred to the incident as deplorable and disturbing. She is also being compared to Twitch streamer Natalia “Alinity” Mogollon, who threw her cat over her shoulder.
Houts has insisted she’s ‘not a dog abuser’. The 20-year-old’s dog Sphinx jumps up at her while she’s filming a video with him, and she appears to smack the dog before shouting ‘No!’
When Sphinx tries to lick her face while she’s filming, she pushes the Doberman out of the way with both hands. Logan Paul called the clip ‘remarkably grotesque,’ before claiming that Brooke put on an act for fame.
"Discipline your animals should they misbehave. I get it, but despite the hitting, the spitting is a totally unwarranted, inappropriate, and vile display of energy that makes this woman completely unfit to own that dog."
"Anything I say isn’t going to make those who believe I’m a bad person stop believing that, and I’m aware of this," Brooke wrote.
"The bubbly, happy-go-lucky Brooke that you often see in my videos is typically an accurate representation of me, but it’s obvious that I’m playing up my mood in this video when I’m clearly actually 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."
"Should I have gotten as angry as I did in the video? No. Should I have raised my voice and yelled at him? No."
The American YouTube star continued: "But I want to make it known, REGARDLESS of what my dog does, I should not have acted that way towards him.
"I am NOT a dog abuser or animal abuser in any way, shape, or form. Anyone who has witnessed or heard true animal abuse will be able to clearly see that."
She also claimed that Sphinx wasn’t hurt by her actions and that, if he was audibly in pain, "it would have been a different story". Her channel is currently still live.
Feature image; YouTube/@brookehouts/Instagram/@intouchweekly