Thousands sign petition for 'dog abusing' YouTuber to be banned
A petition has been launched online to ban a YouTuber from the platform, after she uploaded a video in which she appeared to be abusing her pet dog.
Vlogger Brooke Houts recently became infamous on social media, after she accidentally uploaded footage in which she could be seen hitting and spitting on her Doberman dog Sphinx. Sphinx has often been featured in Houts' videos, but now many shocked viewers are calling for her to be investigated for animal cruelty.
The following video includes footage that viewers may find distressing:
On change.org, more than 20,000 people have signed the petition to ban Houts from posting on the video-sharing website, which advocates will then send to YouTube CEO, Susan Wojcicki.
The petition states: "Does having a bad day excuse hitting your dog? How about pinning your dog to the ground and spitting on him? Does anything excuse this? This wasn't a mistake. No one hits and spits on a living creature by mistake. If this is what Houts is comfortable doing on camera, what could she be doing to her dog off-camera?"
It continues: "Multiple videos on Houts' YouTube channel focus on Sphinx, and she even has created an Instagram account for the dog. This would be fine if she properly cared for him, but when you witness her mistreatment of her dog, it seems that Sphinx was only ever an accessory for Houts to show off and a tool to use to gain YouTube fame."
The petition adds: "To allow Brooke Houts to continue on your platform after blatantly violating YouTube guidelines and proving herself to be a violent, dangerous individual towards animals is the same as condoning her behaviour. A person like her should never be allowed to have influence or an audience, and keeping up her channel and videos reflects very poorly back onto YouTube itself."
Houts has since posted an apology for the clip on Twitter, but many social media users didn't deem it to be sincere:
Houts claims that she was going through a difficult time in her personal life when the segment was filmed, and that she did not intend to upload the outtake to YouTube. She furthermore denied spitting on her dog, and added that she was in the process of training Sphinx to prevent him from being aggressive with other canines.