Dan Tillery uploaded a selfie with his new dog and wrote a short cute caption. He was so excited to share the news with his friends and family! After what seemed like an eternity, he finally adopted an adorable bulldog.
But the reaction he received from his social media friends wasn’t what he expected. Soon, the police would be knocking on his door.
“My girlfriend and I have been wanting a dog forever, but the place we were renting would not allow dogs,” Dan said.
“We just recently purchased our first home. All ours. And dogs are allowed.” But as it turned out, his dog wasn’t allowed. But why?
Dan and his girlfriend Megan adopted an adorable bulldog named Sir Wiggleton. It was love at first sight for both Sir Wiggleton and Dan.
The couple renamed him Diggy as it was easier to pronounce. The first thing Dan did when he brought his new pup home was to take selfies with the happy dog. Little did he know, one of these innocent pictures would prompt someone to call the cops on him.
As a thank you to the rescue team that introduced him to Diggie, Dan shared a photo with his beloved dog along with a short caption. In his post, Dan urged his followers to adopt rather than go to a shop or breeder.
A few days later, Dan’s post went viral, gathering over 24,000 likes on Detroit Dog Rescue’s page!
“We know this photo is going to break the internet, and we apologize, but we had to share,” Dan wrote in his post.
“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!” Little did he know, there was a hater lurking in the shadows…
A few days after posting the photo on Facebook, the police officers from the Waterford Police Department were knocking on Dan’s door.
The officers informed him that he had violated the Waterford’s ban on owning pit bulls. Possessing a pitbull was a punishable crime. So what did this mean for Diggy and his owner?
Dan hoped that the police officers would just let him off with a warning. After all, Diggy was a well-trained and friendly dog.
“When they went to the gate to actually see him, he licked their face, was very kind,” he told WWJ. “They said, we’re dog lovers, that’s cool, he seems like a good boy. Took some pictures of him.” But the officers weren’t budging.
Diggy’s adoption papers clearly stated that he was a bulldog, not a pit bull. So why were the police officers making a big deal out of it?
“It looks like a pit to me,” Lt. Todd Hasselbach said. ”I’d write a ticket.” Dan had three days to say goodbye to Diggy. But he wasn’t going down without a fight.
Seeing how angry Dan was, the officers said that they were simply doing their job.
“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,” Chief Scott Underwood of the Waterford Police said.
Fortunately, Dan’s selfie with Diggy that caused all this trouble also brought thousands of Facebook users to his aid.
They were furious when they found out that the officers were planning to take Diggy away. They organized an online petition to free Dan’s dog. But would it work?
In the meantime, Dan prepared himself for a formal hearing on the matter. “My lawyer and I are going to do everything possible to make sure Diggy stays in his home with us, his family,” he wrote on Facebook.
“Thanks for all of your support, guys. I’m not a quitter.”
More than 100,000 people signed the petition asking the authorities to let Dan keep Diggy. However, Diggy’s status remained unclear for months.
But would it be enough to free Diggy?
“People had really invested their emotions into this story, and it’s beautiful to see so many people care about rescue dogs,” said Kristina Rinaldi, the director of the Detroit Dog Rescue.
Finally, a few months later, Dan and his girlfriend got some great news.
The 51st District Court dismissed the charges, allowing Dan to keep Diggy.
“We get to keep our boy,” Dan wrote in a Facebook post. “He’s a good boy.”
Dan and Megan finally sighed a breath of relief when they found out the charges had been dismissed.
No one has the right to take their beloved pet away.