Vlogger Brooke Houts, who creates videos about her day-to-day life for 334,000 YouTube subscribers, is facing the wrath of the internet — as well as potential legal ramifications — for uploading a video in which she appeared to physically abuse her pet doberman, Sphinx.
The incident caused such an uproar online that it sparked an investigation by The Los Angeles Police Department, reports The Verge. “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 rep told the outlet.
The now-deleted video, titled Plastic Wrap Prank On My Doberman, appears to have been mistakenly uploaded to Houts channel. It was subsequently replaced by an edited version without the alleged incident of abuse, and then was scrubbed from her channel entirely. The Verge notes that it is also unclear whether YouTube has taken any disciplinary action against Houts, though the platform’s guidelines expressly prohibit videos that include or incite abuse toward animals.
In a lengthy statement on Twitter, Houts apologized to those who were “effected negatively by the footage,” attributing her behavior to the fact that “things in my outside life have been less than exceptional.” Houts said that while she acted inappropriately, her actions didn’t physically hurt Sphinx; she also denied claims that she spit on him. Houts says that she is in the process of finding Sphinx appropriate training. “I am not a dog abuser or animal abuser in any way, shape, or form,” she wrote.
To everyone who has been commenting on my social media as of recently: pic.twitter.com/gnxUbfVHdf
— b (@brookehouts) August 7, 2019