Newly Adopted Dog May Lose Forever Home Because of His Looks

Christina Peden
by Christina Peden
Exiling a dog from his owner solely based on looks? Sounds to us like Waterford Township officials have some explaining to do.

Well, this might be the most ridiculous thing we’ve heard in a very long time.

Last Thursday, officials in Waterford Township, Michigan gave Dan Tillery three days to re-home his newly adopted dog, Diggy.

Last week, a photo of Dan and Diggy with huge, matching smiles on their faces went viral after it was posted on Detroit Dog Rescue’s Facebook page. While this would normally be a happy event, some “concerned” citizens (who Detroit Dog Rescue claims do not even live in Waterford Township) contacted police to file complaints about Diggy. Why? Because he “ looks” like a pitbull, and pit bulls are banned in Waterford Township.

Thus, Dan Tillery received a visit from the police, who determined (upon observation only) that Diggy was, in fact, a pitbull and that he would need to be re-homed outside the Township by today, Monday, June 13th.

Related: 6 Ways Your Life Will Change When You Adopt A Dog

This, despite the fact that Detroit Dog Rescue did its due diligence in adopting Diggy out. He has paperwork from both animal control and a veterinarian confirming that he’s an American Bulldog, not a pit bull. Upon his adoption, Waterford Township even granted Diggy a license stating his breed as American Bulldog.

We won’t comment on the problematic issues that arise from the outright banning of a particular breed (that’s another argument altogether), but when you have animal care professionals confirming that the dog in question is not a banned breed, how can it be legal for authorities to exile him based on looks alone?

And if we’re going to judge Diggy based on solely his looks, well… given his perma-smile and super friendly demeanour, we’re pretty sure the only thing he would ever attack us with is kisses and love!

Related: Get to Know The Pittie With “The Truth About Pit Bulls” Infographic

Waterford police have said that if a veterinarian of their choosing determines that Diggy is not a pit bull, he can stay. But if there’s even a fraction of pit bull somewhere in his lineage? He has to leave his new, loving, happy home after waiting months to be adopted.

Diggy’s supporters have started an online petition calling for a lifting of the ban on pit bulls in Waterford Township. So far, they have amassed over 55,000 signatures. If Diggy’s predicament upsets you as much as it does us, head over and sign!

In the meantime, we will be sending nothing but good vibes to Dan and Diggy in the hopes they can stay together forever.


Christina Peden
Christina Peden

Christina Peden is a lifelong animal lover and avid wordsmith. She lives in Toronto with her boyfriend Ryan where they are proud pet parents to puppy, Matilda and cat, Oscar. In her spare time, she can be found enjoying Toronto, Canada's all-too-short patio season, taking advantage of the city's numerous parks or curled up with a good book.

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