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WARNING: CONTAINS DISTRESSING CONTENT
YouTuber Brooke Houts has come under fire after accidentally uploading footage that shows her apparently hitting and spitting on her pet dog.
In the shocking footage, Houts' dog Sphinx can be seen jumping up at his owner while she's trying to film a video with him.
She then appears to hit the dog, shouting 'No!', before pinning him to the floor when he tries to leap up again. Many believe it then looks like she spits on Sphinx, although this is a claim Houts has denied.
Houts, 20, has since issued a statement claiming she is 'not a dog abuser or animal abuser in any way, shape or form', but within hours of the clip going viral, it managed to catch the attention of the LAPD's Animal Cruelty Task Force, which has said it is investigating what happened.
"LAPD is aware of this incident," a representative for the police department told BuzzFeed News.
"Animal Cruelty is looking into this, and there is an open investigation."
On Tuesday, Houts released a statement via Notes to respond to the backlash, apologising to anyone 'negatively affected' by the controversial video.
Explaining that she had been in the process of training her dog, in the statement she also said sorry to her pet for 'acting aggressively' and raising her voice.
However, Houts denied claims that she is an animal abuser.
"I want to clarify that I am NOT a dog abuser or animal abuser in any way, shape or form," she wrote.
"Anyone who has witnessed or heard true animal abuse will be able to clearly see that."
Describing the many ways in which she 'spoils' her doberman - giving him treats and ordering him toys - she continued: "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.
"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."
The YouTuber's actions have also been condemned by many famous names and organisations, including WWE star Paige, who said on Twitter: "Shame on you for the abuse your dog endured from the hands of you. I don't know anyone that can be 'kind and understanding' to a situation like that. Hopefully your dog gets taken out of your 'care'. Gross."
Jameela Jamil wrote: "Put this cretin in jail."
Animal rights organisation PETA also called on YouTube to remove Houts from the platform, adding: "DOGS DESERVE RESPECT. IF YOU CAN'T TREAT DOGS WITH KINDNESS AND INSTEAD HIT THEM, DON'T GET ONE. ATTN @YouTube: Please remove Brooke Houts from your platform."
Even fellow disgraced YouTuber Logan Paul has waded in, writing: "I try my best to avoid slamming people on Twitter because I know what it's like to be on the receiving end (and rightfully so), but this video of that girl hitting & spitting on her dog is remarkably grotesque, and irks me for many reasons."
LADbible has contacted YouTube for comment.
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