Time and time again, people assume the worst about specific dog breeds, particularly pit bulls. Ironically, the "nanny dog" is one of the most loving animals out there. Try as they might, pittie owners and veterinarians can't seem to get it through to the public that it's not the breed but the training.
Despite their reputation, they are loyal, loving dogs, just as Dan Tillery and his girlfriend, Megan, found out when they adopted Sir Wiggleton, an American bulldog. Little did they know that a few social media posts of their new dog would attract the cops. No one expected a court case to follow.
Something Was Missing
Recently, Dan Tillery, a musician from Waterford Township, Michigan, moved in with his girlfriend, Megan. They were very excited about starting a new chapter together. But after they were situated in their new place, they felt like something was missing.
Then, light bulbs went off in their heads. They were missing a four-legged friend to complete the household! So, they decided it was about time for them to adopt a dog from the local shelter in town.
A White American Bulldog Grabbed Their Attention
It wasn't long until they stopped organizing their new home and hopped into their car to head down to the local shelter, Detroit Dog Rescue. They were ready to find the pooch of their dreams to complete their little family.
While walking around the shelter, a white American bulldog grabbed their attention. The poor thing had been in the shelter for a long 100 days. Was this the dog Dan and Megan planned to rescue and bring home?
His Name Was Sir Wiggleton
After seeing the smiley photo of the dog posted on his cage, Don and Megan knew that this was going to be their dog. Sir Wiggleton was going to go home with them and be loved and cared for until the end of his days.
So, like any new dog owners, the happy couple eagerly brought the pooch home and started snapping adorable pictures. Putting them on their social media accounts was the natural next step. The world had to see Sir Wiggleton, after all!
Sir Wiggleton Got A New Name And Parents
Anyone who saw the photos could instantly see how happy the three made one another. The dog was all smiles with his new owners! It only took a couple of hours, but Sir Wiggleton, renamed Diggy by Dan and Megan, looked very comfortable in his new home.
The couple had made the right choice adopting Diggy; he was a completely transformed animal after being adopted by his new humans. It didn't take long for the shelter to see the picture and re-share.
Detroit Dog Rescue Wanted To Help Promote Dog Adoptions
After seeing the picture of Diggy and Dan online, the Detroit Dog Rescue quickly shared it on their own page to show how happy the pooch and owner were on adoption day. Their caption said, "We know this photo is going to break the internet, but we had to share!
After almost 100 days in the Shelter, Sir Wiggleton just got adopted. Sir Wiggleton and his new Dad are celebrating adoption day with huge smiles all around!"
The Re-Share Gained A Lot Of Attention
Not only did Dan respond to the re-share, saying how much he and Megan loved their new pooch, but so did random strangers. Joy Williams Brosious said, "That is the biggest smile of any dog I have ever seen. I bet these two will be good buddies and hope they do lots of stuff together!"
That one comment garnered 45 likes! It was apparent people couldn't help but love the blooming friendship between Dan and Diggy.
The Picture Brought Unwanted Attention, Too
Obviously, Dan was happy that so many people were supporting his and Megan's choice to adopt Diggy. The goofy picture probably didn't hurt matters! Who wouldn't fall in love with that big smile and relaxed face? It was obvious that Diggy was very content in his new home.
Unfortunately, not everyone was pleased with their decision to adopt Diggy. And, before long, the Waterford Township police were driving down their street, parking, and knocking on their front door.
Someone Thought Diggy Was A Pit Bull Mix
Dan was confused as to why there were officers at his front door. He didn't do anything wrong. Was someone hurt or in trouble? As it turned out, it wasn't that simple. The officers were there for a very specific reason, and it had nothing to do with a person.
Truth be told, they were there for Diggy. It turned out that one of Dan's Facebook friends contacted the authorities after seeing the photo he posted online. The friend believed Diggy to be a pit bull mix, a breed that was banned in Waterford Township.
The Adoption Papers Said Diggy Was A Bulldog
Waterford Township had voted to ban pit bulls and any mix because they believed the breed was dangerous. The thing is, Diggy's adoption papers clearly stated that he was an American bulldog. So what was the issue? Dan was very confused and wasn't sure what the officers were talking about.
Dan realized that he only had Diggy for a few days, so he couldn't be 100 percent sure he wasn't dangerous. But in his heart, he knew his new friend was a good boy and wouldn't hurt a fly. Diggy even ran up to the officers to lick their faces when they came to the gate!
It Was Just The Beginning
Dan didn't understand why the cops were at his home. The adoption papers clearly said Diggy was an American Bulldog. Why were they going off of one person's assumption who only saw Diggy online? That wasn't fair.
In an interview, Dan recalled the cops saying, "We're dog lovers, that's cool; he seems like a good boy." They even went as far as taking some pictures of Diggy! Everything seemed like it was smoothed over, and that was the end. Unfortunately, it was just the beginning.
The Cops Did A Visual Inspection
In an encounter that Dan thought was going to be the end of the law questioning, Diggy's breed was only the beginning of a long battle. Even though the two officers were nice, petting Diggy and taking pictures of him, they had another agenda.
While they were at Dan's house, they were doing a visual inspection of the dog. They came to the conclusion that the Facebook friend's tip was solid, and Diggy was, in fact, a pit bull mix, regardless of what his adoption papers said.
They Gave Dan Three Days To Remove Diggy
The entire accusation made no sense to Dan. How could they think Diggy was a pit bull mix solely by looking at him? Was that even legal? His adoption papers, a legal document, said he was an American bulldog! Now, the cops were giving Dan three days to remove Diggy from his house.
Waterford police chief Scott Underwood, said, "From our standpoint, it's a pretty clear case of an ordinance that makes it clear what's permissible and what's not. Our job is to enforce the ordinance."
Diggy Wasn't Going Without A Fight
There was no way Dan was giving Diggy up in three days, not when he just got him! And he wasn't the only one who was outraged. Online fans of Diggy started to rally behind the pooch. They even went as far as creating a petition to ban breed-specific legislation.
People seemed to be ready to fight for Diggy's rights! Everyone's support overjoyed Dan, but he had other matters to attend to. He was in the middle of getting ready for a formal meeting.
Dan Met With His Lawyer
Dan kept the public in the loop via Facebook, posting, "Don't worry, Diggy is safe at home with me and his momma. My lawyer and I are going to do everything possible to make sure Diggy stays in his home with us, his family. Thanks for all your support, guys."
It meant the world to Dan and Megan that so many people were in their circle. Now, they just had to convince a courtroom that Diggy was not dangerous and that they should be allowed to keep him.
They Were In Court For Three Months
Even though Diggy wasn't dangerous and his adoption papers clearly said he was an American bulldog, the court ruled it inconsequential. They believed Diggy was a pit mix, and therefore Dan and Megan were not allowed to own him because it was illegal.
By then, 111,000 people had signed the petition to eradicate the breed-specific legislation in town. To the general public, there was no reason why Dan and Megan should have to give up their sweet pooch. No one could have guessed what happened next.
The "Visual Inspection" Wasn't Legal
But Dan wasn't stopping until the court saw that there was nothing illegal about him owning Diggy. He wasn't giving up his dog; Diggy was part of the family. So, after another long debate, it was ultimately decided that the visual inspection that cops conducted wasn't a legal way to determine a dog's breed.
Therefore, there was nothing illegal about Dan and Megan owning Diggy! They had won, and Diggy was allowed to walk out of the court as a free and legal pooch. Dan and Megan couldn't have been happier with the results.
The Three Of Them Went Home As A Family
They were all thrilled. Dan, Megan, and Diggy walked out of the court with their heads held high, knowing that there was nothing the legal system could do to them now. Diggy was rightfully theirs, and he wasn't going anywhere but home to snuggle with his favorite humans.
Their little family was reunited and moving forward from the ordeal. There was one thing for sure, though, nothing was going to tear them apart, they belonged together.
Diggy Became An Internet Celebrity
Ironically, even though the officers tried to get Diggy away from his family and the public, their intervention only made him that much more loved. He became a bit of an internet celebrity after all of the press about his case. People loved that Dan and Megan were able to come out on top with Diggy.
Soon, the internet sensation was meeting other American bulldogs just like him! After being in the shelter for so long, Diggy only dreamed about having a loving family and dog friends to hang out with. Now it was his reality.
Everything Was Right In The World
Diggy was loving all of the dog friends he was making after being internet famous. It's like he had an extended family of pooches that were just like him. Even so, it's clear to anyone who sees pictures of the two, that Dan will always be Diggy's number one.
Considering how hard Dan fought to keep his dog, it doesn't surprise us that they're best pals. Thankfully, nothing can get in between that friendship now that they won their court case.
Diggy's Story Could Have Ended Differently
Ultimately, it was Dan and Megan's determination to keep their adopted dog that helped win the court case. That being said, they couldn't have done it without the help of all the people who thought taking Diggy away from them was unjust and started up the petition that the court couldn't ignore.
If it wasn't for all of those factors, Diggy's story could have turned out a bit differently. Thankfully, we don't have to think about that because he is safe at home with Dan and Megan, where he belongs.