Brooke Houts is a well-known, 20-year-old YouTuber and an aspiring actress from Atlanta, Georgia who currently resides in Los Angeles. Like many popular YouTube stars, the majority of her videos revolve around pranks and her mundane life tasks. If you spend a few minutes looking at her YouTube channel, you’ll quickly realize she has an air of entitlement that seems to follow her throughout even the most menial everyday activities, like putting on her make-up or taking a trip to the grocery store.
At the height of her popularity, Houts somehow accumulated over 300,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel alone. One of the biggest selling points of her videos was her dog, Sphinx.
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Sphinx is a young Doberman that Houts got as a puppy off of Craigslist. She told her followers she chose Sphinx solely because of the bad reputation that Doberman Pincers have. She has featured Sphinx in many of her videos, documenting things such as her morning routine with Sphinx, their favorite things to do together, and things she wishes she knew before getting a dog.
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Trouble in Paradise
Recently, Houts accidentally uploaded an unedited video of herself and Sphinx. This would be great if only her love and dedication for Sphinx had been as legitimate as her passion for telling her followers about her expensive car and trips to Whole Foods.
The video was intended to show her pranking Sphinx by putting plastic wrap in the doorway, assumedly to catch his reaction as he tried to walk through it. Instead, the video first shows a bubbly, laughing Houts addressing her followers, followed by an excited, typical puppy jumping on her. This infuriated Houts who responded by lashing out and striking the poor pup in the head with her open hand. Sphinx immediately jumped down.
The video goes on to show Houts kneeling on the ground in front of the camera to address her viewers. Sphinx appeared in the camera as he bounced towards her as if he wanted to play. Again, she became enraged, grabbed Sphinx by the back and neck and pinned him to the ground as she yelled, “STOP!”
Keep in mind, Dobermans weigh 65-90 lbs. They are not small dogs by any means. Some force is required to physically pin them to the ground.
As if that wasn’t enough, Houts then decided to spit on Sphinx. Oh, but it doesn’t stop there.
Beatings Continue Off Camera but the Reflection Captures Everything
The video continued with Houck repeatedly saying, “I love you” and “We love you” to the camera as if she was trying to capture the perfect scene. Between takes, her smile faded faster than her YouTube following, and her eyes could be seen glaring over to the side. Off to the side, you could see an excited Sphinx playing in the reflection of the T.V. Sphinx eventually made his way over to Houts and attempted to give her a kiss. Houts raised her hand and pointed her finger and Sphinx quickly pulled away before going back in for another kiss.
It was at this point that Houts then pushed Sphinx away with such force than he was thrown off camera. She followed him out of the frame and continued yelling, “Lay down!” through what sounds like clenched teeth. What she failed to consider is that, just as you could see Sphinx playing in the reflection of the T.V., you could see her reflection as she continued to stand over Sphinx and berate him. It even appeared as if she kicked him at one point.
Don’t Trust Everything You See
All of this is in stark contrast to the doting she does of Sphinx on his personal Instagram, which has garnered over 10,000 followers
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It comes as no surprise that any internet star probably does not have the picture-perfect life that they portray online. However, the most ironic and somewhat bone-chilling part of the entire ordeal regarding Sphinx are some of the videos Houts has uploaded in the past.
For example, Houts uploaded a video just a couple weeks before the incident. In this video, she answered questions about her life with Sphinx. While she managed to upload the correct video that time, you could tell Sphinx had high energy and was ready to play. Houts successfully edited out the seconds immediately following the times Sphinx jumped on her, hit her with his toy or tried to give her a kiss, leaving her viewers to question what kind of wrath the poor little guy may have received. The most ironic statement of it all is when Houts gave people advice on “how to be a proper dog owner” and doted that she only uses positive reinforcement to train Sphinx.
She also uploaded another video discussing things she wishes she knew before becoming a dog mom.
Houts jokingly states, “People hit me up like, “Hey, I want a dog. Should I get one?” and I’m like, No!”
This video has the same theme of Houts selecting which parts to allow her viewers to see.
She also says, “I knew it was going to be yard having a puppy, but I didn’t know it was going to be this hard.”
A Pattern of Abuse
Houts’ ex-boyfriend, Dolan Henrickson, has taken to Twitter with his allegations of Houts’ prior abuse of animals, particularly his miniature Schnauzer.
Henrickson stated, “…she is not a fan of animals, or she just doesn’t like to treat animals with the same respect that you would treat a human being.”
With Every Action Comes a Consequence
The actions of this careless and possibly heartless person are not without consequences. PETA has urged YouTube to take action against Brooke Houts.
DOGS DESERVE RESPECT. IF YOU CAN’T TREAT DOGS WITH KINDNESS AND INSTEAD HIT THEM, DON’T GET ONE.
— PETA (@peta) August 7, 2019
According to NBC Los Angeles, the LAPD has confirmed that they are also investigating the incident as possible animal cruelty.
The Los Angeles Animal Cruelty Task Force states, “Animal cruelty is one of the more destructive ills in society; often linked with sociopathic behavior, cruel and abusive behavior toward animals reflects a severe lack of moral responsibility and social conscience.”
Too Little Too Late
In a scramble to save face, Houts took to Twitter to attempt to express her apologies.
To everyone who has been commenting on my social media as of recently: pic.twitter.com/gnxUbfVHdf
— b (@brookehouts) August 7, 2019
While she goes out of her way to state that she is not trying to “play the victim card” or make excuses for her actions, the entire so-called apology is laden with excuses and justifications in her defense. Her excuses include that she was in a bad mood that day, she was disciplining him for “unacceptable” behavior, and that he needs training.
Even celebrities have taken to social media to express their disdain for her actions, many of them offering to care for Sphinx themselves.
WARNING: The video has been removed from YouTube but it can still be seen here. The video is violent and may be upsetting. Please watch it with caution.
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