French animal rights activists have been filmed confiscating a puppy from a homeless man, who wails in despair as the animal is taken away.
Footage of the incident, which took place in the capital Paris, shows a man and woman wrestling the homeless man to the ground as the terrified puppy tries to hide beneath its owner’s suitcases.
The video was uploaded to Facebook earlier this week by eyewitness Nghi Le Duc and has since been viewed more than 1.7 million times and shared by 26,000 people.
Many viewers were outraged by the footage but Cause Animale Nord, the activist group who purportedly removed the animal, later uploaded a photo to their Facebook page appearing to show the seized dog, adding that it was taken because its owner was a gypsy who used it for begging.
The distressing video begins 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 squeaking in fear at its owner’s distress.
The homeless man appears unable to plead with the activists and instead wails in anguish.
Having violently grabbed the animal, they then pass it over to a third activist who sprints off into the distance as the man and the women try the stop the homeless man giving chase.
As a crowd on onlookers appear stunned by the melee, the female activist begins shouting at them.