German Debt Collectors Seize Family's Pug and Sell It on eBay for $853: Reports

"I didn't know what was more outrageous: the fact that they seized the dog or the fact that they put it on eBay," said Birgitt Thiesmann, an activist at Vier Pfoten


A city in Germany is facing a possible lawsuit after debt collectors seized a family’s pug and sold it on eBay.

According to the Associated Press, the unidentified family had allegedly failed to pay their debts, including a dog tax, to Ahlen, a city in northwestern Germany.

After city authorities were unable to find anything else of value to take in the house to fulfill the debt, they seized the family’s pug, named Edda.

The pug, which has a high monetary value as a thoroughbred dog, was sold online in December for 750 euros — about $853 — Deutsche Welle reported.

According to the AP, via German news agency DPA, the city of Ahlen’s treasurer, Dirk Schlebes, said the seizure of Edda was “legal” and “only happened after other nonessential household goods had been taken.”

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A police officer named Michaela Jordan then bought Edda, according to the BBC, via local German newspaper Ahlener Tageblatt.

Jordan spoke to Ahlener Tageblatt, where she said that she was told Edda was healthy when she purchased the dog on eBay. Now, Jordan is saying that the pug had undisclosed medical issues — including eye problems that have led to four operations since the time Edda was purchased in December.

Jordan also told the outlet that she is planning to sue the city for damages of 1,800 euros — about $2,048.

Ahlener Tageblatt also spoke to Edda’s original owner, who said, “I know now that Edda is in good hands,” but added that her three children miss the pug.

“I didn’t know what was more outrageous: the fact that they seized the dog or the fact that they put it on eBay,” Birgitt Thiesmann of FOUR PAWS, a German animal protection charity, told the New York Times.

According to the BBC, city spokesperson Frank Merschhaus has said the incident will be investigated.

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