Pitiful images of a dog buried alive and left to die have sparked a furious response online and led to the arrest of a man in France. After the pictures of the French mastiff were rapidly circulated online, police confirmed on Wednesday that her owner has been taken into custody.
The elderly dog, who suffered from severe arthritis, was found by Pedro Dinis in Carrières-sur-Seine, west of Paris, buried up to her neck in dirt. Her lead was attached to a sack of gravel that left her no means of escape.
Dinis, who was out walking his own dog, then posted a series of pictures on his Facebook account and described how "only her head was visible and it was difficult to see given the amount of earth covering her," according to the Local.
The "shocked and dehydrated" dog has now been taken to a veterinary clinic nearby for treatment where she is currently recovering, the Daily Mail reported. On Facebook, Dinis wrote of his relief at being in the "right place at the time to be able to save a life."
The dog's owner, a 21-year-old man, told police that his dog had run away, which has been dismissed by officers as "not very plausible" considering the animal's age and condition.
"The dog is more than 10 years old and suffers from arthritis. It's difficult to imagine her running away," a source close to the probe told AFP.
He is now facing animal cruelty charges and could be sent to prison for up to two years or forced to pay a fine of $31,000.
But furious animal lovers have called for the harshest penalty, creating a petition that has already gained nearly 320,000 signatures at the time of writing demanding that the owner is given the maximum sentence.
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