YouTuber Brooke Houts accused of animal abuse after hitting Doberman in video: ‘I am a great dog mom’

Brooke Houts has received backlash over a video that shows her getting rough with her dog. (Photo: YouTube)
Brooke Houts has received backlash over a video that shows her getting rough with her dog. (Photo: YouTube)

A YouTuber has issued a statement addressing the widespread backlash she’s received after uploading a video which shows her getting aggressive with her pet Doberman, Sphinx.

The video, posted by Brooke Houts, shows her smacking, shoving, holding down, shouting and appearing to spit on the dog, prompting outrage from viewers. The unedited footage appears to have been posted in error, with Houts replacing it with an edited “plastic wrap prank” segment that does not show her hitting Sphinx.

Viewers were quick to slam Houts as “heartless” and accuse her of animal abuse.

“I can just imagine if you ever have children,” read an angry comment on YouTube. “OMG. You’re an awful person!”

Fellow YouTuber Logan Paul — who has had his own fair share of controversies — also decried Houts’s behavior, calling it “remarkably grotesque” and a “vile display of energy that makes this woman completely unfit to own that dog.”

Animal rights organization PETA was among those calling for YouTube to shut down Houts’s channel.

After briefly deactivating Twitter amid the backlash, Houts returned with a statement apologizing to those “affected negatively,” explaining that she was using dog training methods to curb her dog’s “unacceptable behavior.” She added that she was in a bad mood on the day in question, and while she acknowledged that she mishandled the situation, she insisted, “I am NOT a dog abuser or animal abuser in any way, shape or form.”

Houts also denied that Sphinx was hurt or spat on.

“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,” she wrote. “I apologize to anyone who has been affected negatively by the footage.

“First off, I want to address the uncut footage. 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. I am not going to play the ‘victim card’ or anything of that sort, but I do want to point out that I am rarely as upset as what was shown in the footage. 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. 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.

“I want to clarify that 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. My dog, in no way, shape or form was hurt by any action that I displayed in this video. I know people are going to say ‘you don’t know how he really feels’ and this is true. But if he was audibly and physically in pain, it would be a different story.

“I also did NOT spit on my dog, but I understand how it could look like I did. Did I get in his face and take unnecessary actions towards him? Yes I did, and that was not the way I should’ve handled the situation. Did I spit on my dog? No. My family and I are in the process of getting him training. The training that I have been looking at for him is VERY expensive, because it’d have to be 1-on-1 with a trainer. Ever since he was attacked at the dog park, he isn’t okay with being around other dogs. He sticks to me like velcro if he is in the presence of another dog, even a little Chihuahua. I just can’t see him getting what he needs from a group training environment.

“That being said, I know I personally can learn more effective techniques to get his energy out and keep him disciplined as well. Anyone who knows me personally knows I have an immense love for animals, including my own. I would never do anything to purposefully physically or mentally harm any animal. Again, I should NOT have yelled at him or have been as physically aggressive as I was, and I’m fully aware of that. He was not hurt, nor has he ever been purposefully hurt by me. I know I’ll be in many future situations where he’s being physical, but I will not respond this way again.

“Family or friends that have spent any amount of time with Sphinx and me know that we have a trusting, loving relationship. All he wants to do is be by my side, cuddle with me and be around me, which I love. My love for him is exponential and infinite, and I do everything I can in my day-to-day life to ensure that he is living as happily as he can. I’m sorry that my actions in that particular moment did not reflect that.”

She also explained that she temporarily left Twitter “for my own mental health.”

“When I went to open [her account], I was met with an excess of notifications of people telling me I’m messed up, a bad person, that I’m going to hell, that I belong in jail, etc. For my own mental health, and no other reason besides that, I didn’t think it was necessary for me to be reading those comments at that time.”

She ended by apologizing to viewers again while maintaining that she is a “great dog mom.”

“Lastly, I don’t want to make this statement seem like it’s me defending myself, because that is not my goal,” she wrote. “I do want to point out what ACTUALLY happened though. My intent by explaining the situation is to give those of you who are rightfully angry with me the explanation that you deserve. I am getting my dog into training, and I’m looking at ways to improve how I personally train him at home. I am sorry that you guys had to watch that footage and were upset by it, and I’m sorry to my dog for raising my voice and acting aggressively.

“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.”

The Los Angeles Police Department's Animal Cruelty unit, meanwhile, is reportedly investigating the incident but has not yet responded to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment.

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