YouTube Star Brooke Houts Will Not Face Animal Abuse Charges

Your social media feeds may be dominated by cat memes and adorable puppy videos, but beneath the surface a more disturbing animal trend is on the rise and the culripts are getting away with it.

Famous YouTuber Brooke Houts will not be charged with animal abuse following an investigation which was conducted after she accidentally uploaded footage last month that showed her punching, pushing, yelling, and spitting on her pet Doberman Pinscher, Sphinx. 

The LAPD's Animal Cruelty Task Force determined that there wasn't enough evidence to support criminal charges, TMZ reports. She was allowed to maintain custody of Sphinx throughout the investigation. LAPD has also indicated that her case can be reopened if new evidence is presented. 

Houts was placed under investigation after the LAPD received "several direct messages related to a YouTube video which people believe shows animal abuse." She responded to the backlash with a lengthy statement that included an apology as well as some justifications for her actions.  

Houts' ex-boyfriend Dolan Henrikson commented on the animal abuse allegations, claiming that they "make so much sense," adding, "She is not a fan of animals, or she doesn’t like to treat animals with the same respect as if you would treat a human being." 

A worrying number of influencers have recently been exposed abusing their pets online – often in an intentional, warped quest for "likes".

In the shocking film, the 20-year-old tried to "prank" the dog by making him run through plastic wrap – but “accidentally” included scenes of her smacking, pinning down and appearing to spit on him.

Boasting more than 300,000 subscribers, the American has been slammed by celebrities including Love Island's Doctor Alex and YouTuber Logan Paul.

The incident also sparked an urgent appeal from animal rights groups, many of whom have called for websites including Facebook and YouTube to impose a “permanent ban on any users who post photos or videos of themselves harming animals”.