‘Illegal’ Dog From Viral Photo Gets To Stay With His Dad Forever

A rescue dog who gained international attention when his heartwarmingly happy adoption photo went viral has been given one more reason to smile.

Diggy was adopted from Detroit Dog Rescue in June by his new dad, Dan Tillery of Michigan. Not long after, however, he was thrust into the middle of a legal battle for the right to stay in his new forever home.

As it turns out, Tillery’s hometown of Waterford Township has breed-specific legislation (BSL) on the books — ordinances prohibiting pit bulls from living in the community. After seeing Diggy’s viral pic, police determined that he was of that banned breed and therefore had to go.

Tillery wouldn’t be parted from Diggy that easily. He, along with Detroit Dog Rescue, contended that the dog wasn’t a pit bull, but rather an American bulldog. A vet later determined that to be true.

Presented with that, a court this week decided to drop the case. Diggy could stay!

“The love bug that captured the heart of the world is safe and will remain with his family, Dan and Megan, for the rest of his happy life,” Detroit Dog Rescue wrote online. “Diggy will share many more happy days with his family in Waterford, MI.”

Diggy’s story has a happy ending, but it promises hope for other dogs as well. This case has called to attention the unfair reality of BSL’s effect on pets and their owners.

Fortunately, laws that ban specific breeds are thankfully on the way out in many municipalities across the country, but there’s still more that needs to be done to overturn it elsewhere.

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