There’s no better place in the world than being at the receiving end of a dog’s overly enthusiastic attitude and pure adoration. The moment dogs come to live in the house, they immediately become part of the family.
Tied with love, families do everything they can to stay together… like how musician Dan Tillery did when his furfriend Diggy was almost taken away from him.
Dan went through so much before he could adopt Diggy. So, he couldn’t understand why this was happening to them. He knows he only treated his dog right, and Diggy was such a gentle giant and had never hurt anybody during his walks.
How could they just take Diggy away from him?
Road to their dream dog
Dan remembers the moment he knew he had to change his life to get what he wants: a dog. Back then, the apartment he was living with his girlfriend Michelle wasn’t ideal for pets, let alone dogs. Plus, it didn’t help that his landlord had rules about pets.
That was until they moved to a larger place.
Prepping the place
Dan’s career as a musician was finally looking up. When they finally had enough money, Dana and Michelle immediately invested in a house.
The moment Dan stepped inside, he knew that his dream of having a dog can now come true. Having a larger space means having room for more in the house. Plus, their home could actually use some life in it!
Meant to be
Naturally, the next place to contact the animal shelter. It doesn’t sit well with Dan to buy a dog, as he knows there are a lot of strays and abandoned animals that deserve to have a home and feel loved.
As he was scanning through the dogs’ photos in the shelter, something made him stop. There was something in the picture…
Dan knew it was love at first sight. He was looking at a white smiling dog, whose name was Sir Wiggleton. Apparently, Sir Wiggleton had been in the shelter for three months and counting, patiently waiting for someone to adopt him.
Dan knew Sir Wiggleton – or Diggy as he renamed him – was the one he was taking home from the shelter.
Falling into place
The day has come for him to take Diggy home. Dan was over the moon, as finally, they were going to have the dog they had wanted so bad. The minute they stepped foot at home with Diggy, Dan felt things were finally falling into place.
Little did he know…
The start of their story
Little did Dan know the trouble would start the minute his photo with Diggy became public in social media. But, Diggy’s smile was just so pure and so adorable not to share to the world.
The minute he took Diggy home, the shelter posted on Facebook a picture of Dan and Diggy with matching grins. A few days later, those wide smiles apparently wouldn’t last…
Viral matching grins
Because Dan and Diggy’s matching grins were just too pure, their photo immediately went viral. Dog lovers from all over the world gave their love and praises to Dan and Diggy – always praising Diggy’s wide smile.
While the photo reached the right people, the authorities of Michigan also got hold of Diggy’s existence.
The pit bull ban
Dan’s new home was in Waterford Township in Michigan. Since 1988, Waterford had a long-standing ordinance of banning pit bulls in the area, with the premise that their large bites were incredibly harmful to their citizens.
After seeing Dan’s viral photo with his rescue dog and receiving complaints, authorities immediately went to action.
Knock on the door
A few days after the viral photo was posted, authorities came knocking on Dan’s door. Confused, Dan naturally asked what was wrong. When the authorities pointed out that their problem was about Diggy, Dan immediately knew he was going to fight tooth and nail for what was about to happen.
What did they do wrong?
They wanted to take Diggy! Dan thought of every moment he spent with Diggy, wondering whether he missed any altercations that would warrant the presence of the police. With the few days he spent with his new best friend, Dan concluded that they did nothing wrong.
But apparently, that wasn’t what the authorities were clamoring about.
Look for another home
They wanted to take Diggy away from Dan because Diggy looked like a pit bull, a dog breed that has been banned in Waterford. They had received complaints from the neighbors, that’s why they went to check Diggy.
As Diggy looked like a pit bull, they gave Dan three days to rehome Diggy. Dan knew that would never happen in a million years.
Turning to social media
Dan and Michelle thought of ways to fight for Diggy. Banking on Diggy’s fame worldwide, they sought help and advice on social media.
Naturally, their supporters stepped up the game.
Dan received tons of messages and support for their fight to make Diggy stay in their home. As many people were already involved, the Waterford ordinance of banning pitbulls was brought up, fanning the flame of Dan’s case. While some remained neutral, there were others who were enraged over the town ordinance.
Going to the vet
Focusing on other proactive ways to prove that Diggy should stay with them, Dan thought that they had to have professional back up for their case other than his lawyers.
They knew the veterinarians would be able to help them.
Finding the truth
Dan knew one word from veterinarians confirming Diggy’s breed would make a great defense for them. So, he and Michelle brought Diggy to the vet, reminding themselves not to hope too much. But they were also determined to do whatever it takes to make Diggy stay.
Dan thought he could pass out with what the vet told them…
Winning their case
Dan and Michelle felt as if he just got the greatest news, even though trial still hasn’t pushed through. The vet confirmed that Diggy wasn’t a pitbull, but an American bulldog! This was such a relief for Dan, as he knew they had a winning chance to make Diggy stay with them.
But, that wasn’t the only fight brewing…
Power of petitions
When they sought help from social media, Dan’s online petition to make Diggy stay with him garnered over 111,000 supporters. More than this, the cause was also tied to overturning Waterford’s ordinance of banning pitbulls in their area.
Dan thought there were so many things happening all at once, all because of his adorably smiling dog…
The moment of truth
The day was nearing for the verdict on Diggy’s fate. Dan knew they had a solid back up – the vet’s professional input on classifying Diggy’s breed. But, he still couldn’t help but be nervous, as one word from the judge could make or break him and Diggy’s bond.
When the trial came, Dan couldn’t believe what he just heard…