The Los Angeles Police Department has launched an investigation into YouTube creator Brooke Houts after a viral video captured Houts appearing to abuse 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.
The video shows Houts, who has more than 330,000 subscribers, recording a video, and seemingly smacking and spitting on her dog intermittently. The unedited version of the video was uploaded to YouTube as a mistake and was taken down shortly after. YouTube did not respond to the The Verge about whether further action is being taken against Houts’ channel at the time of writing. The site prohibits videos that include or incite abuse toward animals.
Houts issued a statement on Twitter following the clip going viral, apologizing to “anyone who has been affected negatively by the footage.” She explained that when the video was shot, “things in my outside life have been less than exceptional.” Houts later defended part of her behavior based on the fact that 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 behavior is unacceptable.” Despite her actions in the video, she added, she is not a dog abuser.
“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.
Her statement hasn’t gone over well with the rest of the creator community or with Twitter at large. Popular YouTubers, including Logan Paul, have called the situation deplorable and disturbing. Paul referred to the clip as “remarkably grotesque.” Other people have compared Houts’ behavior to Twitch streamer Natalia “Alinity” Mogollon, who faced criticism for tossing her cat over her shoulder while streaming.
The Verge has reached out to YouTube for further information about Houts’ channel. Channels under investigation for incidents that relate to their YouTube content can be taken down.