German treasury officials have seized a family’s beloved pug and auctioned it off on eBay to cover their debts – including an unpaid dog tax – but the dog’s new owner now claims she was sold a defective product.
Purebred pug Edda fetched just $850 on eBay after the city of Ahlen put her up for auction – and the policewoman who bought her is demanding the city pay for the medical procedures she requires.
Officer Michaela Jordan plans to sue the city, complaining that the one-year-old dog was advertised as healthy but in reality had a “massive eye injury” that has so far required four surgeries – costing over $2,000 to fix, with a fifth looming in the future.
A city worker had even reassured Jordan that the dog was healthy when she questioned the low price tag, explaining that the dog was a repo, Ahlener Tageblatt reports.
While Ahlen city spokesman Frank Merschhaus initially praised the canine foreclosure auction as a “pragmatic solution” to the family’s mounting debts, the sale is now under internal investigation because the enforcement officer involved used their private eBay account to auction Edda off – though the money reportedly made it to the Ahlen treasury.
Pets valued at over €250 ($284) are fair game to be confiscated to pay debts, though the negative press unleashed by the Edda affair suggests Ahlen might think twice before barking up this tree again.
Edda’s original owners – including children ages five, seven and nine – are still pining for their pup, holding onto tokens of their departed companion like her leash and bowl. Their mother, who relied on Edda as a comfort animal for her mental illness, told Ahlener Tageblatt that “how it all ended, that was absolutely not OK” – though she admitted: “I know now that Edda is in good hands.”
They had fallen behind on bills – including the $90 yearly dog tax levied by the city – after her husband was paralyzed in a work accident.
“Owners who pay their dog tax properly do not need to fear enforcement,” Merschhaus said, adding that this was the first time the city had ever repossessed a dog and that such measures were a last resort “only if multiple requests for payment go ignored or agreements for installment payments are not adhered to.”
Local outlets reported that debt collection officers initially had their eye on the paraplegic father’s wheelchair before settling on the pug for repossession, but Merschhaus dismissed those reports as “wicked rumors.”