The French mastiff was found and rescued on Saturday by a man walking his dog in Carrieres-sur-Seine, west of Paris.
The dog was surrounded by stones, and its lead had reportedly been attached to a sack of gravel to stop it from escaping.
The man called the emergency services to save the “shocked and dehydrated” animal.
“Only her head was visible and it was difficult to see given the amount of earth covering her,” he posted on Facebook.
The post currently has over 175,000 shares, with dozens commenting on how the man is the dog’s “guardian angel” and marveling at “human cruelty”. Some posted that they were “at a loss what to say,” because the dog’s plight was so“horrible.”
Police rapidly found the 21-year-old owner of the mastiff, and took the man into custody. The owner claimed that the dog had run away, but security forces described his version as “not very plausible.”
“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.
The owner faces trial for animal cruelty, could be sent to jail for two years and be bound to pay a fine of up to €30,000 ($32,700). Meanwhile the outrage and anger online has boiled over into a petition urging the “maximum sentence for the owner.” It has already received over 260,000 signatures.