UPDATE: Diggy the smiling dog, whose plight made headlines across the country, is officially home.
Following months long legal battle, the court has allowed the internet famous pooch to stay in his Waterford Township home in Michigan with owner Dan Tillery.
Diggy went viral earlier this year after a local dog rescue group shared a photo of him smiling widely with Tillery. The photo won hearts across the world, but also led to an ordinance violation charge against Tillery by a police officer who thought Diggy was a pit bull – a breed not allowed inside the township.
Diggy is actually an American Bulldog.
To fight the charges, Tillery obtained documents from two local veterinarians verifying the dog’s breed.
“I’m just really happy,” said Tillery. “You try to be optimistic and positive but there were scares where my girlfriend and I, we’d look at each other and say, ‘What if they take our dog from us?’”
“It’s just very satisfying,” he added.
Diggy was overjoyed when he realized that he was leaving his shelter and moving in to a hopefully caring abode.
So, when his human, musician Dan Tillery, pulled out his phone for a selfie, Diggy put up his biggest, toothiest smile.
But Diggy's happiness was short-lived. While there was an outpouring of love when the photo of the heart-warming union was posted online, there were many who objected.
Some thought the dog resembled a pit bull, which are banned in the township that Tillery lives in. They reported the photo the local police officers, who made a visual determination that the dog was indeed a pit bull.
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This illogical assumption flies right in the face of the identification made by a veterinarian who certified that the dog was not a pit bull.
The dog was licensed as a bulldog because Detroit Dog Rescue, the shelter that gave Diggy away, did not want the dog to be sent away to a town where it was banned.
The issue is that the law enables police officers to decide whether a dog is of an "approved" breed, at their personal discretion. If a police officer did not think that a doggy's face was squashed enough to belong to a bulldog's, then so be it.
If this decision strikes you as idiotic, consider that a township, has banned an entire breed of dogs, without any valid reason. Moreover, the authorities have threatened to put this smiley doggy down if he is not escorted out of the township.
Diggy, as is obvious from the video, has cozied up to his new human.
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If Diggy loses his present home, he will be welcome at the shelter. But Diggy's new companion Tiller doesn't want to let him go, and there is no reason for Diggy to be kicked out because he did not conform to an officer's standards of what a bulldog should look like.