Ellen DeGeneres wants to save a 3-month old puppy from an owner accused of kicking the animal and swinging it around by its leash ... TMZ has learned.
Law enforcement sources tell us Ellen reached out to the LAPD this week to inquire about a French Bulldog puppy that was rescued last weekend.
Police arrested the guy who owns the puppy after a witness reported seeing him slam the pooch on a sidewalk, drag and kick him ... and then swing him on his leash like a yo-yo.
We're told Ellen was doing the good samaritan thing -- asking cops if she could do anything to help ... and making sure the pup goes to a good home.
Here's the problem -- legally, the animal has to be held at a shelter for 30 days while the courts deal with the owner ... and there's a chance he could get the puppy back.
If the alleged dog-hater does lose custody ... would Ellen consider adopting?
We reached out to her reps, but no word back.