Officials of Ahlen in Germany have come under fire for confiscating a pet pug from a family with three children and selling it on Ebay for £640 in order to cover an unpaid tax bill. The dog, called Edda, was actually sold last year but the new owner now wants to claim compensation from the town for €1800 of treatment on Edda for undisclosed medical issues, as well as the cost of buying her in the first place.
Edda is a pedigree dog and as such, was deemed valuable enough by officials to be taken and sold as a means to meet the unpaid local taxes. The new owner said although the pug was listed for half the normal value of a dog of that pedigree on Ebay, she was advised by the town officials of the situation and was reassured that the dog was in good health.
Unpaid taxes covered by value of pet
The pet pug was taken for unpaid taxes from her family last year after they had failed to pay local taxes, which also included dog taxes. In Germany all dogs must be licensed and owners must pay a dog tax, however this family had not paid theirs.
Whilst animals can be taken by financial enforcement workers in order to pay off their owners debt, house pets are usually exempt from this. Frank Merschhaus, the spokesman for Ahlen said “The employee tried to find a pragmatic solution within the scope of his discretion and decided on the course of action now in question,”.
Officials from the town have responded to criticism over their decision to sell the family pet on Ebay, saying it was a last resort to cover the unpaid debt. Ahlen’s treasurer, Dirk Schlebes, stated the seizure was legal and only took place after other non-essential household goods had been taken.