Despite the outcry from animal rights activists, 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 explained to the Oakland Press.
Unless Dan wanted to pay a $500 ticket or worse, end up in jail, he had little choice. But the same viral photo that caused all this trouble also served as a rally cry, bringing thousands to his aid. People, outraged that the police had the authority to take away such a sweet dog, geared up for a counter-attack.
So while his fervent supporters organized an online petition to free Diggy, Dan prepared himself for a formal hearing on the matter, kicking off a full-scale legal battle. Furthermore, both fronts demanded that the township dismantle the pit bull ban, which would allow Diggy to come back home.
Dan got to work on what seemed to be a pretty clear defense: Diggy isn’t a pit bull, though he may look like one. “My lawyer and I are going to do everything possible to make sure Diggy stays in his home with us, his family.” he posted online. “Thanks for all of your support, guys. I’m not a quitter.”
Sadly though, Diggy’s status remained uncertain for months. Meanwhile, more than 100,000 people signed the petition asking officials to let Diggy off the hook. What’s more, an army of Diggy’s supporters overpowered a landmark town meeting in September. Dan and Diggy certainly had the numbers, but would it be enough?
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, after a heated debate, they got some good news: charges were dismissed in the 51st District Court, assuring that dog and owner could stay together.
We get to keep our boy,” Dan wrote in a celebratory Facebook post. “He’s a good boy.” After a long fight, Dan and Megan could give dog with the famous smile the life he deserved. In a landslide victory, the township changed the rules on the pit bull ban. Now veterinarians will be the ones to determine the breed, and not police officers “eye-balling” the situation.
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