A popular YouTuber is apologizing after accidentally uploading a video of herself with her dog that viewers called “remarkably grotesque.” The 20-year-old vlogger is insisting it’s not what it looks like, but her ex-boyfriend says otherwise.
Brooke Houts, a 20-year-old YouTuber, is apologizing after she accidentally uploaded an unedited video, where she appears to have an inappropriate interaction with her dog Sphinx that left viewers disgusted. The footage was so troubling, other YouTubers weighed in, calling the controversial video “remarkably grotesque.”
Although the video has since been taken down, the damage was already done. Houts was apparently attempting to upload an edited video of her playing the plastic wrap prank on Sphinx but instead posted one she never intended for others to see. It featured the outtakes, which captured her reaction when her dog didn’t cooperate.
According to Inside Edition, Houts appears to be hitting, shoving, and spitting on Sphinx, a Doberman. Since much of Houts’ public persona was built around her relationship with Sphinx, seeing her alleged mistreatment of the dog especially outraged her fans. “Are you serious? You are immature and need anger management,” a former fan tweeted, as another added, “You don’t deserve him if you can’t care for him give away to someone that will.”
But, even with the video evidence against her, the YouTube personality is insisting it’s not what it looks like. She says she’s not an animal abuser and is adamant that Sphinx wasn’t hurt. Her ex-boyfriend, however, has come forward with a much different story.
“I apologize to anyone who has been [affected] negatively by the footage,” Houts tweeted after backlash over the clip ensued. “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 that behavior is unacceptable,” she furthered. “But I want to make it known REGARDLESS of what my dog does, I should not have acted that way towards him,” Houts continued.
“Anyone who knows me personally knows I have an immense love for animals,” Houts wrote, insisting she’s not an animal abuser. “I would never do anything to purposefully physically or mentally harm any animal. Again, I should NOT have yelled at him or as been as physically aggressive as I was, and I’m fully aware of that,” she added, promising, “I will not respond this way again.”
Social media users weren’t moved by the apology. “I guarantee this happens more off-camera than you’d like us to believe. Doesn’t matter how bad of a week you’re having, that doesn’t give you free rein to take it out on an animal,” one Twitter user tweeted in response. “Please crawl back under the dilapidated rock from whence you came.”
“You are just evil. When I’m frustrated I would NEVER hit my dog in the way that you did,” another added. “Can’t handle a big dog nor can you afford training so you resort to hitting instead? Don’t get a dog. Animal abuser. You’re not sorry, you’re sorry you got caught.”
As calls to “cancel” Houts YouTube channel, which has more than 300,000 subscribers, mounted on social media, her ex-boyfriend Dolan Henrikson, who she dated for a year in 2017, came forward to add his two cents, and it didn’t help Brooke Houts’ case one bit. According to Henrikson, it’s unlikely that what Houts was seen doing in the footage was a one-time occurrence.
Henrikson alleges Houts “tossed his Miniature Schnauzer like it was a cat” when she came to visit him in Florida, The Daily Dot reported. He also accused her of repeatedly pushing his dog away and not wanting it to be around her. “It had been done a couple [of] times [throwing the dog],” he said. “At the time, I was not a confrontational person, and I didn’t want to make the trip awkward. But, overall I was just confused [about] why she didn’t like my dog.”
Although Henrikson said he wouldn’t classify the situation as “abusive,” he believes it was a “red flag” and an indication that the video of Houts hitting Sphinx probably wasn’t an isolated incident. He also said he thinks Houts should no longer be allowed to own the dog. “She is not a fan of animals, or she doesn’t like to treat animals with the same respect as if you would treat a human being,” he said.
YouTuber Ethan Klein, known for making Israeli-American comedy videos with his wife, agreed and even offered to adopt the dog. In a tweet saying he was in LA, he told Houts he would “literally buy your dog from you name any price, he really does need a new home.” To show he was “serious,” he informed Houts that “my dms are open to you.”
The video has led to an animal abuse investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department, but there are those who don’t think what Brooke Houts did was wrong, alleging she was correcting the dog for jumping on her. Even Henrikson backpedaled, later saying he regretted speaking publicly against Houts and that he was “wrong” for “humiliating” her.
Regardless of how you feel about what Brooke Houts did to Sphinx, it’s hard to feel sorry for her when it comes to the criticism she received. When you willingly put your life in the spotlight for profit, you have to be prepared for the ramifications and the scrutiny. If you don’t want others commenting on your behavior, perhaps you shouldn’t put it on public display, asking for attention. This was an “accident,” but her public persona has always been intentional, and that comes with consequences.