Animals have always been popular on YouTube. The site is filled with funny videos of pets doing funny things, people talking about their pets, etc. People online simply can’t get enough of cats and dogs, and for YouTube celebrities featuring a pet in a video is one way to get views.
But that backfired big time for one YouTube celebrity, who is now facing accusations of animal cruelty after accidentally uploading some shocking unedited footage of her hitting and shoving her dog.
— b (@brookehouts) May 12, 2019
Brooke Houts is a 20-year-old YouTube personality. She has over 300,000 subscribers, and like many popular YouTubers her videos feature her talking directly to the audience about her everyday life.
Many of her most popular videos revolve around her pet doberman, Sphinx.
This week Houts uploaded her most recent video with the dog, a prank video called “plastic wrap prank on my doberman.”
However, she apparently uploaded the wrong footage to her channel. While it was soon deleted and replaced with the finished video, the unedited footage was shared by a Twitter user Keemstar—and reveals a shocking other side to the YouTuber:
— KEEM ? (@KEEMSTAR) August 7, 2019
The video shows Houts getting frustrated with her dog while filming the video, and several times she gets violent.
At one point, Sphinx jumps up on her, and she strikes him in the face.
In another, the dog walks in front of her during a take, and she pushes him down to the floor—and it sounds like she spits on him.
At the end, Houts is recording her video sendoff, and the doberman comes up and licks her face. Frustrated, Houts shoves the dog out of the way. Off camera, she can be heard yelling at the dog to “lay down.”
The footage is shocking, especially considering how many videos Houts has filmed with this dog, and how she presents herself on camera as such a loving dog owner.
Not to mention the fact that the dog wasn’t misbehaving (not that violence would be justified then either) but simply wanted some attention from his owner.
The leaked video sent the internet into an outrage. Most people are demanding YouTube deactivate her account—as of writing, it’s still active, although she’s steadily losing followers, and most of her videos have been heavily downvoted.
Crazy woman. Dobermans are the sweetest dogs who deserve to be treated right, so I will gladly take your dog away from your abusive ass. https://t.co/3oARerbsiT
— y'all hear sumn (@fuckineedalife_) August 7, 2019
What’s more disgusting is it’s clear she uses her dog for views yet is completely mistreating him pic.twitter.com/l9PpTb4Wmw
— Alissa Ashley (@alissa_ashleyy) August 7, 2019
Scary how quick that true personality comes out. You can see hate in her eyes for that poor dog. I don't care what kind of day you've been having, if you can't control yourself around your pet then DONT. GET. ONE. Animal lovers unite, get this girl banned. @brookehouts you suck. pic.twitter.com/aOp3LRgu5O
— ????? (@Wildbergerrrr) August 7, 2019
Even Logan Paul, a fellow YouTube vlogger who went through his own scandal, condemned her actions.
2.) 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
— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) August 7, 2019
Many people have been contacting ASPCA and PETA to get involved. PETA joined in, calling on people to contact YouTube to get rid of Houts’ account.
— PETA (@peta) August 7, 2019
And now, even the police are getting involved. People apparently called the LAPD about Houts, and they are now investigating the case.
“We are aware of the incident,” the department told People. “Our Animal Cruelty Task Force has received numerous complaints about the video and we are currently looking into the matter.”
In the wake of the outrage, Houts took to her Twitter account to respond. While she said she was not trying to defend herself or “play the victim card,” she did attribute her actions to having a hard week, and seemingly defended her actions as part of disciplining her dog:
Should I have gotten as angry as I did in the video? No. Should I have raised my voice and yelled at him? No. However, 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 behavior is unacceptable. But I want to make it known, REGARDLESS of what my dog does, I should not have acted that way towards him.
To everyone who has been commenting on my social media as of recently: pic.twitter.com/gnxUbfVHdf
— b (@brookehouts) August 7, 2019
Twitter, meanwhile, was not buying it:
As someone who works with dogs every day; including highly energetic & aggressive dogs, from the bottom of my heart I can honestly say I have never thought of doing any of the disgusting things you did in this short video. From the hatred in your eyes I know you’ve done worse.
— Lt. Dan’s Legs (@Elli_Klosiewski) August 8, 2019
You spit on your dog dude. He wasn't being aggressive with you, he was being playful.
You pushed him down to the floor, you raised your hand, pulled, pushed and yelled.
That's abuse. And by the looks of his reaction, it's not the first time. Absolutely heartbreaking to watch.
— Crystal Paterson ❄️? (@I_am__Crystal) August 8, 2019
When we first reported this story, the LAPD was beginning to look into the incident. Now, TMZ reports that the department’s Animal Cruelty Task Force is wrapping up its investigation, and Houts won’t be charged with animal cruelty.
A source told TMZ that while the footage was disturbing, it did not support criminal charges.
Houts will get to keep Sphinx. She retained custody throughout the investigation.
While she’s off the hook legally, the massive backlash has no doubt derailed her YouTube career. While her account is still active, she hasn’t posted since the footage leaked. It’s hard to imagine she can make any kind of comeback.
We can only hope that the backlash gets her to be a more caring dog owner. According to TMZ, the LAPD can reopen the investigation if more evidence comes out.
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Mom and I are filming a video together today. Can’t w8 to be a camera hog again. Or camera pup, I should say ? Any guesses on what it is? ?? #dogsofinstagram #dogs #dogstagram #dogslife #furbaby #puppy #puppylove #adoption #doberman #dobermanpinscher #dobermanpuppy #dobermanpuppies #dobermanlove #dobermanpride #dobermansofinstagram