Imagine falling in love with a dog at a shelter, bringing him home, and then because he’s a Facebook success having authorities deem him unacceptable because of his breed.
That’s what happened to Diggy and his adoptive owner, Dan Tillery from Waterford Township in Michigan.
Diggy was labelled a pit bull and Dan was charged with a code violation for owning a banned breed.
But Diggy wasn’t a pit bull and Dan had veterinarians willing to testify to his breed. In the intervening time, bills were introduced so local communities couldn’t introduce BSL ordinances and 100,000 people signed petitions on Diggy’s behalf.
The court dropped the charges once the signed affidavits of the veterinarians were entered into evidence.
Breed specific legislation doesn’t work. And in Diggy’s case, he was identified solely based on appearance – which is fraught with difficulties since so many dogs can appear to be one breed but are, in fact, a mixed breed or a different breed altogether.
I’m just glad that Diggy and Dan are allowed to remain a family.
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand