Paris, Sep 25 (IANS) A video showing animal rights activists forcibly snatching a dog off a visibly distraught homeless man in Paris has caused widespread outrage in France, the media reported on Friday.
The video shows two members of the French animal rights group Cause Animal Nord wresling the puppy from the homeless man on a busy street near Chatalet Square, The Local news reported.
The clip starts with the man from the rights group wrestling with the homeless man on the pavement.
After shrugging off the beggar’s attempts to get his dog back, he then marches off with animal, while being chased by the homeless man, who is visibly distressed.
A woman, presumed to be another member of the group follows behind, pointing at and shouting at by-standers, “It’s forbidden by the law. It’s forbidden by the law.”
The video of the incident, watched over half a million times since it was posted on September 19, has caused outrage in France with a petition on the website Change.org calling for an investigation into Cause Animale Nord being signed by nearly 15,000 people.
The petition organisers said the group operated outside the boundaries of its charter, which does not allow for animals to be removed from their owners without prior notice.
They argued the group acted with “extreme violence” and question Cause Animale Nord’s “strange” decision to put the animal up for adoption given that the puppy was supposedly “drugged” – a claim made by the group after the incident.
But Cause Animale Nord have defended themselves. In a post on their Facebook page, they said the brief footage published by media outlets failed to provide the full context.
“The person had thrown himself to the ground, crushing the puppy. The puppy was stunned, had dilated pupils and was staggering around,” said the group in their post.
“We intervened because it was an urgent situation for the animal.”
“There was no violence at any moment,” the group added.