Why were the police called after a man posted a selfie of him and his dog?

Pit bulls get a bad rep. There have been a number of cases where the breeds attack smaller dogs and in some cases, children. Because of the bad reputation the dogs receive, they are the least sought-after breed for adoption and are often last to be picked at homeless shelters where pets desperately need a home and fast.

Owners of the breed attribute the issue to stigma. They say that it’s not actually the breed with the problem, it’s society’s view of how a pit bull behaves and its instincts. They say that the world has it wrong and that pit bulls can be exceptionally tame and harmless animals. Critics also go after poor training skills from pet owners. So who’s to blame here when both sides point the finger at the other? “I see both sides,” says director of the animal behavior clinic at Tufts University’s school of veterinary medicine, Nicholas Dodman. He also wrote the bestselling book “Dogs Behaving Badly.” He argues that equal blame can attribute to the reputation pit bulls receive as the bad boys of the pet world.

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He says that different breeds have different bites. Pit bulls are triggered quickly to attack so when they charge they use a more powerful (and dangerous) bite. He also blames irresponsible pit bull owners for not spending the time and extra effort to train such a complicated animal. He says that when done correctly, pit bulls can be wonderful pets and great companions.

That’s where our story begins. Dan Tillery always wanted a dog, and a pit bull in particular. He and his girlfriend had been talking for years about what it would be like to have a new addition to their home. Finally they brought a stray home and named him Diggy. The couple was thrilled. The pup was funny, curious, and friendly. He was certainly happy to living off the streets and into a nice home with a happy family. To celebrate his welcome Dan, an already popular musician and Instagrammer, snapped a photo of himself with the smiling puppy. The photo was an instant viral sensation. The photo, featuring two wide toothy smiles from Dan and Diggy, was liked and reposted tens and hundreds of thousands of times. It seemed like such a happy story at first: a man adopts a dog in need of a home and celebrates the happiness by sharing it with the world. Things took a turn, however, which is where our story begins.


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It wasn’t all smiles for Dan and Diggy after the photo went viral. Unfortunately for them the photo got into the wrong hands. What came next was a fight for justice that Dan never expected he would have to make.

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