German pedigree pug seized by authorities for unpaid tax, sold on eBay

A small black pug, with a squished face and slightly grey muzzle.
Edda is reportedly a black pug. Photo credit: Getty

Officials in the German city of Ahlener are defending their decision to seize a pet pug and sell it on eBay.

The family in question had allegedly failed to pay its debts to the town, including a dog tax. They say officials initially wanted to seize a wheelchair but settled on the dog, the BBC reports.

The pug, called Edda, was sold online, sparking criticism from those who thought the move was heartless.

Edda's new owner is also complaining after the dog needed several operations, despite being sold "in good health".

Her attempts to recoup the cost from the authorities that sold the dog to her drew the attention of the local newspaper, the Ahlener Tageblatt, which managed to track down Edda's original owner, who is still upset by the seizure.

"How it all ended, that was absolutely not okay," she told the paper.

City officials refute the woman's assertion they wanted to take a wheelchair from the house instead of the dog.

"Aids to guarantee the mobility of people with disabilities are absolutely exempt from being seized as collateral - unlike pets," spokesman Frank Merschhaus said.

 "No enforcement officer would come up with the idea."

He defended the seizure of the dog, saying it was legal as long as the pet was a valuable one. Edda was sold on for €750 (NZ$1250).

Mr Merschhaus said the use of an employee's private eBay account to sell her will be investigated.

Edda's former owner said she accepts the reason for the seizure and the dog is now in good hands. Her three children do miss it though.


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