The Los Angeles Police Department confirms that it is investigating YouTuber Brooke Houts over allegations of animal abuse. The content creator accidentally uploaded footage of herself punching, kicking, and pinning her Doberman puppy, Sphinx, to the ground, prompting calls for her to be investigated by police as well as offers to adopt and rehome Sphinx.
In a statement issued to People Magazine, the LAPD said that it is "aware of the incident" with the YouTuber. The police department also revealed that its Animal Cruelty Task Force had received "numerous complaints" about Houts behavior towards her dog and that it is now looking into the matter. The law enforcement officials did not reveal how far that investigation was or how close it was to making a decision.
While the investigation into whether or not Houts has committed a criminal act is still pending, many say that her behavior should get her banned from YouTube. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) called for YouTube to remove Houts from the platform. PETA, which also asked Twitch to ban Alinity after the streamer was accused of animal abuse, said that "dogs deserve respect" and that "if you can't treat them with kindness and instead hit them, don't get one."
There are also several petitions that ask YouTube to ban Houts. A search on Change.org reveals that there are 14 different petitions calling for Houts to be banned from YouTube and for Sphinx to be given a new home. The most popular of these petitions is one called "Ban Brooke Houts from YouTube" which has 1,618 signatories. It's a long way off from the more than 30,000 signatories the Alinity ban petition got, but it does show that there is growing support for action to be taken against the YouTuber.
YouTube hasn't officially commented on the Brooke Houts issue yet, though with millions of people having viewed the video of Houts' purported animal abuse, it's likely that the platform is aware. The Doberman prank video is no longer available on Houts' YouTube channel but it's also unclear whether Houts took that down herself because of the backlash or if YouTube intervened. YouTube has come under fire for the content it allows on its platform before, with Disney and Epic Games removing their ads due to content concerns, which prompted action from the company. It's not known if an action has been taken here, though.