Warning: Distressing Content
A YouTuber with over 340,000 subscribers is facing a huge backlash after uploading an unedited video – in which she hits and spits on her dog.
Brooke Houts says in her latest video she is planning to prank her Doberman dog, named Sphinx, by placing cling-film across a door frame to confuse him.
However, she is now facing animal cruelty accusations, as the video she uploaded was uncut – showing her aggressive handling of Sphinx. She slaps him, spits on him, pushes him and shouts at him.
You can watch the clip below. Some people may find it distressing:
Twitter user @shoe0nhead shared the footage, condemning the YouTuber for her behaviour and pointing out that ‘she was filming a high energy fun video where she plays with the dog, therefore the dog naturally thought it was playtime’.
she was filming a high energy fun video where she PLAYS WITH THE DOG therefor the dog naturally thought it was playtime. yet punches and spits on it in the unedited leak for acting the same way it was acting in the edited version (linked)
— shoe (@shoe0nhead) August 7, 2019
Being faced with mass anger online, Houts has issued an apology – which has attracted further criticism.
You can see Houts’ apology below:
To everyone who has been commenting on my social media as of recently: pic.twitter.com/gnxUbfVHdf
— b (@brookehouts) August 7, 2019
In the written apology, spread across four screenshots, Houts claims she is not an animal abuser in any way and apologises to those who are affected by the footage.
However, despite saying that she doesn’t want to ‘play the victim card’, she offers an explanation for her concerning behaviour towards the pooch.
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… 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 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. However, when my 75 lb Doberman is jumping in my face with his mouth open, I do, as a dog parent, have to show him that this behaviour is unacceptable. But I want to make it known, regardless of what my dog does, I should not have acted that way towards him.
Many people have dismissed the apology, saying that she is pedalling a convenient excuse for a very serious issue.
I’ve been in a dark place at times, too, but I didn’t ever abuse my dogs. If you don’t think it’s an excuse or justification like you said, why mention it?
— Elliot (@Skiddler) August 7, 2019
This is so disgusting. Even just the way she’s looking at the dog is with so much hate and anger. Anyone defending this is sick and shouldn’t have a pet.
— fake geek gamer girl (@Toxic_Fem) August 7, 2019
Houts closes her apology by saying:
In my heart and from the words of the people that spend the most time with me, I know that I am a great dog mom (but not perfect), that I spoil him in the best ways, that he gets all the treats he could ever want, and that the Amazon Prime mailman is probably tired of delivering packages of dog toys to my house. Again, this does not make my actions in the footage okay, but I’m just explaining what my day-to-day life is really like, whether you believe me or not
On a serious note, I love you guys, and I want to thank you for pointing out things that you think are wrong and discussing them, because the world needs more of that. I hope you give me the chance to prove that these statements about myself do align with my actions.
Fellow YouTuber, Ethan Klein, even went as far as to offer to buy the dog:
I'm serious btw my dms are open to you
— Ethan Klein (@h3h3productions) August 7, 2019
Amidst the storm of anger, someone tagged the RSPCA in a tweet, who responded by saying they should contact the relevant authorities in the US.
This is very concerning to see, poor dog 😢 There isn't much we can do sadly as we cover England and Wales only. Please contact the ASPCA as they may be able to help: https://t.co/BMB2JIIFYp
— RSPCA (England & Wales) (@RSPCA_official) August 7, 2019
I’m going to go give my dog a big hug now.
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After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He’s now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.