- The Washington Times - Monday, September 28, 2015

Video footage of French animal rights activists snatching a puppy from a sobbing homeless man has outraged viewers.

An alleged representative of Cause Animale Nord, an animal rights group based in Lille, can be seen wrestling the distraught man to the ground while a woman attempts to grab the small dog, The Telegraph reported.

A third man then grabs the shrieking puppy and begins running down the busy street near Châtelet, central Paris, as the homeless man chases him. The woman screams to stunned onlookers: “It’s forbidden by the law!”

The video has been viewed on YouTube more than 1.4 million times. A petition on Change.org calling for an investigation into Cause Animale Nord’s “extreme violence” has racked up more than 221,000 signatures.

Petition organizers accuse the group of breaking its own rules by taking animals from their owners without prior notice.

Cause Animale Nord said in a Facebook post, translated by The Telegraph: “We intervened because it was an urgent situation for the animal. There was no violence at any moment.”

“The person had thrown himself to the ground, crushing the puppy. The puppy was stunned, had dilated pupils and was staggering around,” read the post. “We took (the dog) away from a Roma who was using it for begging. The police don’t do anything, we act.”

The puppy, which the group renamed “Vegan,” has since been put up for adoption for $195, The Telegraph reported. 

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