The smiley dog is in an unfortunate situation after being a viral Internet star. It all started on the day he was adopted by Detroit musician, Dan Tillery. Tillery clicked a photo of the newfound friends both grinning ear to ear. Of course, they had a good reason to be happy. Diggy the dog was finally with his forever home after spending almost 100 days at the shelter, or at least that is what he thought.
The viral photo caught the attention of the local police department and authorities want Diggy out of town.
According to the Waterford Township Police Department, the city has an ordinance that prohibits pit bulls or pit bull terriers. The ordinance also excludes “any dog which exhibits those phenotypical characteristics which substantially conform to the breed standards established by the American Kennel Club for American Staffordshire terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers, or American pit bull terriers.”
So, how did Diggy get into the town’s rescue shelter to begin with? Detroit Dog Rescue explains that the dog’s paperwork classified him as an American Bulldog. However, after seeing the viral photo, city officials deemed Diggy a pit bull. The city explained their finding in a Facebook post.
“The identification came after several ‘concerned citizens,’ most of whom do not live in Waterford, flooded the police station with complaints,” the post read. “Police now state that Diggy has three days to leave the township. Diggy was polite to the officers and played with them like the friendly dog he is, but now Diggy may be forced out of Waterford Township, MI. We understand that the police officers are just acting as agents for the community they serve and we look forward to resolving this matter with them.”
Despite the ordinance, a petition has begun to circulate around the town calling for a lift on the ban. It now has more than 65,000 signatures.
“This ordinance has been in place for many years,” the petition says. “Many families have had to give up their family pets due to this law. It is important for all of us to come together and be a voice for not only Diggy the American Bulldog, but all of the pets and people that have suffered heartache in the past years. We must remember, it is not the animal that is the beast, it is man that creates the beast. Aggressive dogs come in all shapes, sizes, and BREEDS. This should be handled on a case by case basis.”
As for Tillery, he just wants to keep his dog. He hopes to find a peaceful solution the issue very soon.
“We are cooperating with the Waterford Police,” he wrote. “All we can do now is remain hopeful that this can be resolved soon.”