Photos of a dog buried alive up to its head in waste ground have sparked outrage on social media.
The French mastiff, whose owner said it had run away, was spotted and rescued by Pedro Dinis, who was walking his dog in Carrieres-sue-Seine, west of Paris.
So upset at seeing the dog "cruelly buried alive", he posted photos of the animal on Facebook yesterday, adding: “Only her head was visible and it was difficult to see given the amount of earth covering her."
The dog's owner is now reportedly facing a trial for alleged animal cruelty.
It has been reported that a police source told the AFP news agency that the dog was surrounded by stones and her lead was attached to a sack of gravel to stop her escaping.
Mr Dinis called the emergency services and began to free the animal.
“Shocked and dehydrated” according to a police source, the dog was taken to the vets - while her 21-year-old owner has been taken into custody.
The owner denied the dog had been buried and said she had run away, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Investigators said this was “not very plausible”, it is reported.
A source close to the investigation said it was difficult to imagine the dog had run away because she is more than 10 years old and suffered from arthritis.
The owner could be sent to prison for two years and be forced to pay a fine of up to £21,000, according to the Daily Telegraph.
An online petition calling for the “maximum sentence for the owner” had attracted more than 270,000 signatures online.
It said: “We ask for the maximal punishment against this act of cruelty to an animal.
"That this sentence shows the example and that the animal is finally considered as is proper by the being.”Reuse content