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People Are Outraged After An Animal Rights Group Was Caught Taking A Puppy From A Homeless Man

The animal rights group responded to outrage over the incident by claiming the puppy was sick and being used for "begging."

Last updated on September 28, 2015, at 11:01 a.m. ET

Posted on September 27, 2015, at 2:00 p.m. ET

A video that claims to show an animal rights group ripping a puppy out of the arms of a homeless man is causing outrage online.

The video was posted to Facebook last week by a man named Nghi Le Duc.

Facebook: video.php

He claimed that he was "shocked" as he watched as three representatives from Cause Animale Nord, an animal rights group, take the puppy from a man he said was homeless.

Le Duc wrote they took the pup "violently, without pity" from a "homeless man." He described the dog as the homeless man's "friend."

The video has since been viewed more than 2.5 million times. Many people decried the group's actions on social media.

So #CauseAnimaleNord just steal a homeless mans best friend for a better life, leaving the FELLOW HUMAN homeless #logic

People called them "bullies."

#causeanimalenord you are not animal activist but simply plain bullies! Give the puppy back to the poor man what you did was awful

And said Cause Animale Nord was perpetrating the same kind of cruelty it claims to fight against.

#causeanimalenord I want to report animal cruelty. A group of thugs assaulted a man and stole a puppy away from its rightful, loving owner!

Someone even set up a petition that calls for the group to be investigated. More than 200,000 have signed it.

3 French Animal Rights Activist steal puppy from homeless man- PETITION TO HAND IT BACK! pls share via @Change

But the group pushed back on the criticism, saying the video doesn't tell the full story. In a post on the group's Facebook page, it claimed the man was using the puppy for "begging."

The group claimed that the dog appeared to be drugged, and was stumbling and disoriented. It said members couldn't sit back and watch the puppy — whom they named "Vegan" — be mistreated.

"The police do nothing, we act," it wrote. "You also...can act," they wrote, saying it just takes "a little bit of courage."

In response to a comment, the group said the homeless man, whom it referred to as "Roma," was screaming because he realized he just lost his meal ticket.

"We intervened because it was urgent for the animal," the group said, according to French newspaper La Voix Du Nord. "It is very easy to turn images of context or some about to attack and defame."

The group is offering the puppy for adoption, and posted a video on its Facebook showing her happy and playing. "She can finally run everywhere," the group wrote.

Facebook: video.php

In response, a man named Adam Gulmezian wrote on Facebook he tracked down the homeless man. In a video, the man claims that he has papers proving the dog is his.

Facebook: video.php

In addition, the man has filed a lawsuit against the three people who stole his dog.

A spokesperson for Société Protectrice Des Animaux, another animal rights group, told BuzzFeed France that Cause Animale Nord had no legal right to take the dog from the owner.

"If you take on your own will an animal that don't belongs to you, you will only have troubles," the spokesman said. "It is common sense. You would not take a child from his parents, even if you would have proof that they don't treat him well. You would rather call the police or the social services."

But Cause Animale Nord responded by claiming the papers had been "tampered with."

Local officials said an investigation hadn't been opened into the case, La Voix du Nord reported.

The animal rights group and the person who posted the video didn't return a requests for comment from BuzzFeed News.

La Voix du Nord said the group is known for public displays to raise awareness about animal rights issues.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.