Legal Battle Over Smiley Bulldog Is Over, Pit Bulls Still Banned In Town

Image courtesy of Detroit Dog Rescue

You may remember Diggy, the Michigan dog who appeared in an adorable selfie with his new owner, only to be threatened with losing his new home when the photo caught the attention of local police. They accused his new owner of violating a local ordinance, because Diggy appeared to be a pit bull. Now the town and owner have settled their dispute, and Diggy gets to stay in his home.

The town, Waterford Township, has an ordinance that bans “Pit Bull Terriers, Poisonous/Exotic and Dangerous Animals” from being kept as pets. The counter-argument of the rescue group and of the owner that Diggy is not, in fact, a pit bull didn’t sway the animal control officers.

Yesterday, the final word came down that the dog can stay: after reviewing affidavits from two different veterinarians declaring that Diggy is an American Bulldog, the township dropped the charges and accepts that he is not a pit bull.

Square heads and smile-like expressions are also features that the breeds commonly called pit bulls — the American Staffordshire Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terrier — have, but that some of their cousins with bulldog ancestry can also have.

Another possible outcome might be good for other aspiring owners of bully breed dogs in the town: since it can be difficult to figure out a dog’s ancestry by just looking at it, there’s a bill before the legislature in Michigan would make bans on specific breeds of dogs illegal statewide, which would eliminate legal wrangling over the ancestry of any given dog.

Diggy the Dog’s Internet Fame Almost Cost Him His New Home [New York Times]