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Diggy the Smiling Dog Fought the Law… And Won!

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Facebook/Detroit Dog Rescue

You may recall seeing the photo above making the rounds on social media. The photo, a selfie of musician Dan Tillery and his newly adopted dog, Diggy, quickly went viral after it was posted online, and it’s easy to see why – just look at those smiles, the smiles of two beings that have just found their very best friends.

Unfortunately, the viral photo attracted the attention of a few “concerned citizens” of Waterford Township, Michigan, where Dan and Diggy live, sparking a months long battle between the township and Tillery over whether the dog could stay.

Waterford Township has a ban on pit bulls. The township defines a pit bull as any dogs that “substantially conform to the breed standards established by the American Kennel Club” for American pit bull terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers, or American Staffordshire terriers.”

But Diggy isn’t a pit bull, even under the township’s official definition, and he’s got the paper’s to prove it.

Detroit Dog Rescue, who adopted Diggy out to Tillery, were careful in selecting his new adoptive dad. While he was a perfect match for the smiley pooch, the rescue made certain ahead of time that Diggy was all clear for his forever home in Waterford Township. They called the township in advance of the adoption to confirm that Diggy, an American Bulldog, was not part of the township’s pit bull ban.

As long as they had evidence from a veterinarian showing that Diggy was an American Bulldog, the rescue was told, Diggy could go home with Tillery. Detroit Dog Rescue and Tillery did everything right, including licensing Diggy with the township as an American Bulldog. All seemed to fall perfectly into place and Diggy was headed to his forever home.

That was, until the photo of the blissful new friends went viral. A few citizens of the township contacted local authorities. They thought Diggy looked like a pit bull. And, a loophole in the law very seriously threatened Diggy’s future. That loophole allows a police officer or animal control officer to take one look at a dog and make a “visual determination” about the dog’s breed. Police thought Diggy looked like a pit bull and issued an ordinance violation against Tillery.

On Tuesday, the months-long battle came to an end when Waterford Township courts dismissed the ordinance violation, allowing Diggy to stay – forever – with the family that loves him so much.

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  1. Avatar Of Sandy J Renfroe

    Sandy J Renfroe


    In my experience Pit Bulls have always been friendly to me. Sometimes too friendly. They have this habit, of sticking their face in my crotch. One stuck his face in my butt. One stuck her face in my armpit. Guess they are getting my scent. They all have big, warm, wet tongues that they like to stick in my ears or my nose. One nibbled a bit on my thumb, looked at me flirtaciously, ran away, came back, and laid down circled around my feet. I think I like them. They are sweet.

  2. Avatar Of Sharon



    FANTASTIC NEWS!!. This shouldn’t have happened though. Still penalised even though you did the right things to give this beautiful dog a forever home. WRONG!!!

  3. Avatar Of Sharon



    Incredibly stupid towns- people!!! Shame on the people who started this and the city!!! It was settled in writing before it started!! Stupid stupid people! The gentleman should take action against the city!!!!!!!

  4. Avatar Of Tina



    Shame on the people who brought this up. Shame on the breed specific laws. People need to understand, its people that make bad dogs bad. period.
    So happy this story has a happy ending! but it just should never be a story at all….

  5. Avatar Of Belladonna



    Stupid assholes

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