An online petition calling for the maximum sentence for a dog owner accused of burying his dog alive has already received over 300,000 signatures as pictures of the 10-year-old French Mastiff posted on her rescuer’s Facebook page have sparked worldwide outrage.
Dog walker Pedro Dinis discovered the dog on Saturday on the waste ground in Carrieres-sur-Seine, west of Paris, while walking his own dog Goddess.
Dinis explained, “Only her head was visible and it was difficult to see given the amount of earth surrounding her.” The animal was also surrounded by stones, and police sources believe those may have been thrown at her.
Dinis dug the animal out of her grave with his bare hands, and discovered that she was still on a lead that was attached to a sack of gravel in an effort to prevent her from breaking free.
The shocked and dehydrated dog was taken to a veterinary clinic, and received antibiotics and other treatments following her ordeal.
Police have made an arrest: the 21-year-old owner of the dog who has denied burying her and claims that the animal ran away. Sources close to the ongoing investigation say that explanation is highly improbable. The dog is 10 years old and suffers from arthritis, making it difficult to imagine this as a case of a runaway animal that was unlucky enough to be found and tortured by a stranger.
Dinis decided to share his pictures on Facebook “to educate people about cruelty to animals.” The reactions to his posts came swiftly, sparking the online petition that calls for “the maximum sentence” of two years for the owner, who will be put on trial for animal cruelty and also faces a large fine of up to $32,600.
The petition also asks that the owner be remanded into custody while awaiting his trial, which is expected to take place in March 2016.