An American YouTuber who filmed a video "pranking her dog" is now being investigated for alleged animal abuse, says Los Angeles police.
Unedited footage has surfaced online of YouTuber Brooke Houts hitting, shoving and spitting at her pet Doberman.
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A number of Houts' 335,000 subscribers believe she may have uploaded an incomplete version of a prank video titled, "plastic wrap prank on my doberman".
Some viewers claim a first version of the video uploaded to YouTube shows footage of Houts abusing her dog. An allegedly updated version of the video had its comments disabled and did not include the clips circulating on social media.
Popular YouTuber Keemstar, known for his commentary on social media drama, obtained the disturbing footage and shared it to his Twitter on Wednesday (local time).
The clip posted to Keemstar's Twitter has been viewed over 18 million times at the time of writing.
The viral footage subsequently caught the attention of LAPD's Animal Cruelty Task Force.
In a statement to Buzzfeed News, the LAPD department confirmed officers are investigating the incident, but could not provide any further details at this time.
Houts has faced intense backlash following the circulation of the clip, and responded to the allegations in a lengthy letter posted to social media.
"I want to clarify that I am not a dog abuser or animal abuser in any way, shape or form," she stated.
Houts says she was "upset" and "frustrated" the day she filmed the video, and claims her Doberman needs "very expensive" training.
She admitted to yelling and partaking in "unnecessary actions" to punish her dog, but denied spitting on him.
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"I'm sorry that you guys had to watch that footage and were upset by it, and I'm sorry to my dog for raising my voice and acting aggressively," she wrote.
Houts' response has been met with anger and derision from social media users, with many calling for the doberman to be taken away from her.
"What concerns me is that this is just what she's shown on camera. I'm sure there's worse behind the scenes," one Twitter user commented.
"Slapping your dog, pushing him to the ground, spitting on him and whatever else is not discipline," said another.
"There is zero excuse for animal abuse of any kind. If you can't control your frustration with a high energy dog breed, you don't deserve to have a dog at all," one person wrote.
A number of people are demanding for the YouTuber to be banned from the platform.