PARIS — A French animal rights group is under fire for taking a pup away from a homeless man in Paris. Distressing online footage shows three animal rights activists taking the dog away as the crying man attempts to stop them.
The video of the incident was uploaded to Facebook earlier this week by eyewitness Nghi Le Duc and has since been viewed over 1.7 million times and shared by more than 26,000 people.
Many viewers are outraged. Cause Animale Nord, the activist group who apparently removed the dog, later uploaded a photo to their Facebook page showing the seized dog, and saying it was taken because its owner was a gypsy who used it for begging.
The disturbing video starts by showing the homeless man lying on his back while the male activist tries to pin him to the floor. Both he and a woman then spin around and grab the terrified puppy, which can be heard yelping in fear at its owner’s distress.
The homeless man tries to plead with the activists and instead cries in anguish. Having violently grabbed the animal from the man, they then pass it over to a third activist who runs off into the distance as the man and the women try to stop the homeless man from running after him.
The animal group claim that the owner used the animal for begging and that they now intend to put it up for adoption. The group revealed that the pup had been renamed Vegan.
“The police do nothing, we act. You also can act, it’s just a little bit of courage,” said Cause Animale Nord.
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An online petition demanding the pup’s return to its original owner had over 100,000 signatures by Thursday morning.