Dan Tillery did everything right. He knew that there are millions of stray animals waiting in shelters so when he decided to welcome a companion animal into his life, he opted to adopt and not shop. He perused a dog rescue site and found his new best friend, Diggy, an American Bulldog. He filled out the adoption paperwork, brought Diggy home, and did what any person with a new adorable puppy would do: take photos! Unfortunately, Tillery had no idea that sharing his photo would incite anything other than a flood of “likes” and comments.

Shortly after the photo posted, some people complained to the local police that Diggy looked like a Pit Bull, a breed of dog that was technically banned in Waterford Township, Michigan, where Dan and Diggy live. 

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How could anyone want to ban a precious, smiling puppy like Diggy? Well, unfortunately, Pit Bulls have a pretty bad rep. Despite the fact that they were once called “nanny dogs” for their sweet demeanor around children, the reputation of this breed has gotten increasingly tarnished over the years. Cruel people began to exploit Pit Bulls’ strong and naturally fierce appearance and made this breed synonymous with violence, aggression, gangs, and fighting rings. Since Waterford, Township has a 20-year-ordinance against owning Pit Bull breeds, the police promptly made their way to Dan’s house to demand that he get rid of the dog.

Determined to keep his pal, Dan has been fighting for the last few weeks to prove that Diggy is no harm to anyone, is not, in fact, a Pit Bull (not that it should really matter if he was), and deserves to stay under his care. After weeks of proceedings, during which the Detroit Dog Rescue confirmed that Diggy is indeed an American Bulldog, not a Pit Bull, the case has finally been resolved: Diggy can stay!

“I’m overjoyed to know that Diggy will be spending the rest of his life where he belongs — with his family,” Detroit Dog Rescue director, Kristina Rinaldi, said on Facebook. “I can’t thank Dan and Megan enough for loving him as much as we do at DDR. I think the whole world loves Diggy!”

We are very happy that this story has a happy ending, we know that Dan and Diggy are going to bring each other joy for years to come. However, this whole ordeal has once again brought light to the ridiculousness and ineffectiveness of breed specific legislation (BSL). Considering there is actually zero evidence that shows that these measures actually lower the number of dog bites or attacks in an area, it is clear that these laws are based simply on fear and stereotypical assumptions. Pit Bulls have a hard enough time getting adopted in a shelter (their average euthanasia rate at shelters hovers at 93 percent) so they really don’t need baseless laws making things even more difficult. Plus, as the situation with Diggy proves, many dogs can be mistakenly identified as Pit Bulls and be wrongfully taken from their homes or worse, euthanized.

Diggy is a clear example that BSL laws have gotten out of hand. If you agree that local ordinances should do away with these laws and present Pit Bulls for the loving animals they are capable of being, share this article and raise awareness to the cause!

Image source: Detroit Dog Rescue/Facebook 

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