YouTube film-makers are staging kitten rescues for money and pretending that the rescue is genuine. You can make quite a lot of money out of a successful YouTube video through Google AdSense adverts. In fact, you can make a living out of it. But the marketplace is very competitive. It is hard to create a successful video that generates about 10 million views. This is a very big number. This encourages fakes.
I very quickly bumped into a couple of videos of kitten rescues which concerned me. I immediately smelt a rat. The videos, to me, lacked veracity. They appear to be staged. The one on this page particularly concerns me. You see a kitten with a huge chunk of cast-iron drainpipe firmly attached to her body. It is obviously a heavy piece of metal so she can’t walk. It’s a very tight fit. The kitten is in the middle of nowhere, on the edge of a field among some abandoned machinery. It appears to be Eastern Europe to me but I don’t know. The kitten is terrified. Her hind legs tremble in fear. It is horrible. Soft music plays in the background. It is sick.
Note and update: when this article was posted in September 2020 the video above worked. The video has been removed from the YouTube website which is why it no longer works here. YouTube has decided to remove these fake animal rescue videos after pressure from animal advocates who have been notifying them of their existence. YouTube has been reluctant to take steps and been slow in doing it. They should be on the front foot in respect of the sorts of cruel videos featuring animals. But they are reactive.
The video maker walks up to the kitten who, as I say, is in the middle of nowhere with this cast-iron waistband. The video maker uses one hand to remove the drainpipe from the kitten while he holds the camera with the other hand. Sounds fake? If he was a genuine rescuer, he’d have used both hands. He removes the drainpipe in a very elaborate, theatrical way teasing out the moment to maximum effect. He wants an emotional connection from the viewing public. He wants to rake in those dollars with a bit of kitten rescue drama. He knows that kitten rescues are a great money-spinner because they tug at the heartstrings. The still frame that advertises the video is also dramatic. It’s click bait. The still image that you see before playing the video was taken with a still camera. That was set up too.
I say that the whole video was staged. It is as if the person had planned to make a mini-movie and may even have used a storyboard like a moviemaker. I say this with confidence because there is no way this kitten would stick their head through a piece of cast-iron drainpipe. Firstly, it would be near impossible to get their head into it. Secondly there is no reason for her to put her head through it. The only time you get cats getting stuck in bits of tubing is when they put their head into a tin can because there is food at the bottom of it and they are starving, stray cats.
I therefore allege with confidence that this film-maker is conning YouTube, Google AdSense, the advertisers and the public. And if they read this article (and I’ve linked to it under the video on YouTube) I would like to hear from them. I challenge them to criticise me for what I’m saying. I challenge them to sue me for defamation. They can’t and they won’t because my assessment is true.