In a bizarre incident that has sparked outrage among pet-keepers and a debate about animal cruelty, debt collectors employed by the German town administration seized a family’s beloved pug in response to unpaid debts and sold it on eBay.
A family of five including three children living in Ahlen, Germany, had fallen behind on their dues including a dog tax that they owed the town, the New York Times reported. When officials from Ahlen administration came to collect, they seized the thing most prized by the defaulting family — their female pug Edda.
The authorities seized the pug and sold it on eBay for a sum of 750 Euros. According to a report in Associate Press, the town has defended the confiscation and sale of the pug was completely legal and only happened after other non-essential household goods had already been confiscated. The husband and father of the three kids in the family had been rendered paraplegic after an accident. When the authorities first visited the family, they had intended to seize the man’s wheelchair. But instead settled on the pedigree pooch, the BBC reported, citing local media reports. However, the city has denied this, calling it a rumour, the report further clarified.
Nevertheless, the move to confiscate the pug has given rise to an intense debate about animal cruelty on social media with many, including animal rights activists, criticizing the decision to tear the family away from its pet was heartless.
— Alan Pringle (@alanpringle) February 28, 2019
City debt collectors took a German family’s DOG and sold her on eBay. WHAT. https://t.co/LrYNfe4g0u
— James Dawson (@RadioDawson) February 28, 2019
The city spokesman called it “a pragmatic solution” to an outstanding debt.
— erin mccann | pay for news (@mccanner) February 28, 2019
— Eric M. Collier (@emcollier) March 4, 2019
It’s just the lowest of the low to take away their dog, why didn’t they work out a payment plan?
— Wayne Rogers (@CorioboyWayne) March 2, 2019
Very Sad, does it infringe the dog’s rights 🐩
— Roderick Carlyle (@RoderickCarlyle) March 2, 2019
The question is in 2019- What has Germany become? Seizing the dog or selling it on E-BAY??
— james hanna (@jamesha68080317) March 1, 2019
They say it was legal. But it is definitely immoral and unethical. And through it all the dog ended up very sick which is just horrid. Those in government should be helping their citizens, not allowing them to be abused in this way. Especially the dogs.
— NonToxic (@NonToxicCat) March 1, 2019
According to reports, the pug’s new owner, a police officer named Michaela Jordan has complained that vital information about the pug’s health was withheld at the time of sale in December. She said that she had initially been suspicious of the low price at which she was getting a pedigree pug and that her fears may have been legitimate as in just three months, the dog has had four eye surgeries that have cost her almost €1,800.