This video of Brutus the Rottweiler grieving the loss of his brother was uploaded to YouTube six days ago.
Brutus and Hank were a pair of Rottweilers owned by Washington State resident Brett Bennett.
He had adopted them from a rescue shelter – they were from the same litter and he said they were inseparable.
The claim that they are from the same litter has now been called into question. See below.
On YouTube, Bennett wrote:
I'm so sorry you guys...I wasn't strong enough and had a breakdown in front of the dogs. Hank was right by my side with his Therapy Dog service and grieved with me as I was so upset. He looked so sad. I noticed Hank never came out of his grievance and stopped eating. He was still drinking and nibbling on food so I thought he was okay. A week later Brutus and I awoke to his peaceful body next to us as he passed in the night in his sleep. This is about 30 minutes after we woke up and were missing our baby. I normally don't video record my real life catastrophes or share but decided I needed to send a message to the world and show how much pain my dog was in as he loved his twin so much.
Earlier this month he set up an Indiegogo to raise money for a new home for the pair.
In the comments, Bennett added:
Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers for my sweetest boy. Hank did not feel well and I held him in my arms and let him know I didn't want him to go, but if he had to it was okay to be free..That death is a way to be free and not to be afraid. That I wished I had him since he was a cute lil chunky puppy and that he was the best dog I ever had and that he had made a legacy for other Rottweilers being the extraordinary dog that he was.
A few hours later he was gone...My father put my mind at ease saying Rottweilers of this size have very short lives and he estimated Hank to be approx 10 years old and not 7 like I had thought...Don't ever think this is the last time you will see Hank...Hank and I were very busy the last 2 years making videos for you guys. The Hank and Brutus classic vault is STUFFED full of your favorites! Hank and Brutus live forever here on Youtube!
This video, which now has over two million YouTube views, is titled "Crying Rottweiler Grieves For Dead Brother. Animals Do Have Emotions."
And in a recent upload, the dog is described as "grieving for lost twin".
However, in a video posted on September 16 two years ago, Brett Bennett, the uploader and owner of the dogs, shows the dogs "meeting for the first time".
In another video he says he bought Hank on Craigslist and that he was "pretty sure he'd get along with with my dog".
It's one of a number of videos on his channel titled to look like fight videos, but in which the dogs are usually under control.
Bennett currently has a new Indiegogo page asking for support in buying a new home for the dog.
His previous Indiegogo (right), in which he claimed that he was homeless, passed its $5,000 target.
This is not the first time Bennett has asked for financial support following the death of a dog. In July last year he claimed one of his smaller dogs had died.
Exactly what happened to this dog is unclear – in this Facebook comment he apparently claims that the dog was crushed by one of his Rottweilers...
...but in a YouTube comment posted six months ago he was less clear.
A month later, Bennett apparently claimed Hank and Brutus would be sold to "drug dealers" who would "teach them how to fight".
Hank's age and cause of death has yet to be verified. One Facebook status claims he was "approx 10 years old" and died of a "broken heart after seeing his dad have a breakdown".
But Bennett filed paperwork for the AKC good citizen program saying he was three years old in 2012.
It appears according to this Facebook comment that the dog died of cancer: Bennett once again repeated the claim that he was "from the same litter" as his brother.
Bennett has got in touch with BuzzFeed with a statement on the previous update.
He confirmed that the dogs were not from the same litter. He said:
Hank was rescued from a farm in Arlington, WA in June 2012. He was abandoned and left to starve and die. Brutus was a re-home and was rescued from the Bay Area in September 2013. They are not brothers by blood, not from the same litter, but I have always called my animals brothers and sisters and called Hank and Brutus twins because they look so much alike.
How often do you see a pair of huge Rottweilers that look like twins with the same body structure and head size? Monkey, my Pekingese, I consider, is the brother of Brutus, but obviously not by blood. I have never ever stated that Hank and Brutus were from the same litter but for some reason it has spread that I have stated that and I would love to know where as all my videos past and present clearly show the dogs were rescued at separate times and I even get asked on camera in many videos if they are brothers and I say not by blood but I call then Rottweiler twins. Check my "Meet My Dogs" video to see the proof.
On the subject of Hank's age, Bennett said:
Hank's age is a mystery as he was a rescue. I was later tracked down one of Hank's old owners... the one that abandoned him and spoke with him on the phone. The man stated he was only 3-year-old. When I took him to a vet and had him examined he was approximated at 4-6. So Hank's true age was always a mystery. I thought he was around 6 or 7 before he passed but my father told me he looked much older and examining him after death with a vet, they were thinking between 10-11. I was informed that Rottweilers of this size are much like Mastiffs and have very short life spans. Usually between 8-10 years of age.
There have been a number of claims made by Facebook users in recent days that Bennett was operating a scam.
He strongly rebuted them. He said most of the alleged comments by him were "fake and false Facebook threads" created by one individual. He said:
For example I have enclosed a photo of one of the alleged conversations I had about my spending of the fundraising money and that it was going towards other things beside providing shelter for my rescued dogs and I, calling my donators "gullible".
Facebook keeps track of all and any deleted posts and conversations and I challenge anyone to investigate accordingly as it has no date and time, nor photo next to the conversation...Also, some of the sideways writing is way off and even [the individual's] own Facebook friends were questioning the legitimacy of the alleged statements. Lastly some of the wording with photos next to them are fake and looked photoshopped to make it appear as if I was a part of a thread or conversation in which I was not.
Bennett said he was "tired" and "depressed" from dealing with the outcry in recent days.
He pointed BuzzFeed to another viral video which was accused of being a scam. He said it was only because there was a fundraiser "much like mine", and added: "No one cared about my fundraiser..Nobody cared about my Crying Rottweiler video..UNTIL it went viral," whereupon an individual "spread the rumour to the world and news media it was a scam".
NewsFlare [who are now managing the content] will hopefully be doing an update article as I will be proving my innocence in the alleged scam allegations. I have been bombarded and attacked with accusations only after my video went viral which I had no clue it would.
Alan White is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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