City Demands Man Banish Newly Adopted Dog

Cops say Diggy is an illegal pit bull; shelter (and others) say he's a bulldog
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2016 10:21 AM CDT
City Demands Man Banish Newly Adopted Dog
Dan and Diggy.   (Facebook)

Dan Tillery was so excited to adopt his pup, Diggy (nee Sir Wiggleton), who had spent 100 days in a Detroit shelter, that they made a music video and took a beaming photo together that went viral on social media. "We know this photo is going to break the internet and we apologize, but we had to share!" Detroit Dog Rescue's Facebook page gushed June 6. But that thrill was short-lived when Waterford Township cops got wind of the adoption and informed the Michigan man he had until Monday to "relocate" Diggy because they say he's a pit bull—a breed banned by a local ordinance, reports. Waterford police tell WWJ they received multiple complaints about Diggy and headed to Tillery's house Thursday. "When they went to the gate [to] actually see him, he licked their face," Tillery says, noting officers took photos of Diggy. They informed him later that day that they had concluded Diggy was a pit bull.

But Detroit Dog Rescue says in a follow-up post that Diggy isn't a pit bull, but an "American Bulldog who can't stop smiling." Supporting documents from a vet and Detroit's animal control department also contend Diggy is a bulldog. Some experts say "too many dogs are painted with the 'pit bull' brush," the Washington Post notes, and others maintain pit bull bans are unethical to begin with, per the Christian Science Monitor. For now, however, Waterford officials are sticking with their pit bull definition (they used guidelines from the American Kennel Club) and say Diggy has to go. Police say Tillery has indicated he'll comply; he could face a civil infraction and $500 fine if he refuses. Meanwhile, more than 50,000 have signed an online petition to overturn Waterford's "dangerous dog" ban. The Post notes that if Diggy is found to be a prohibited pup, he can be destroyed. (A pit bull burned in a fire is now an honorary firefighter.)

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