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Kafkaesque hell for innocent pug sold on eBay to settle family debts

A German family has erected a shrine after their pug was taken by bailiffs
© Die Glocke, Oelde - Twitter

Bailiffs acting on behalf of a German town council have seized a family’s pedigree pug and sold her on eBay for €750 (£650) to reclaim debts owed by the owner, known to the press as ‘Stefanie K.’

By G. John Cole, 3 Mar 2019

Edda K. must have believed someone made a false accusation against her, for she was arrested one morning without having done anything wrong.

City workers in the town of Ahlen in north-west Germany eyed-up a laptop and coffee machine and allegedly tried to take a wheelchair before requisitioning Edda the Pug and listing her on the online auction site. 

Living the pug life

The only reason the debt-collectors left the wheelchair was that it belonged to the debtor’s professional association, reports news channel TVN24.

“Aids to ensure the mobility of people with disabilities are absolutely exempt - unlike pets,” counters Frank Merschhaus, spokesman for the city of Ahlen, speaking to NPR. Whether he had an evil glint in his eye at the time of speaking is not on record.

Meanwhile, pug-in-the-middle Edda has been transferred to her new owner over 100 miles away in Rhineland - where the stress of these human affairs has taken its toll on her health. Veterinary bills are mounting, and now top €2,000.

“I'm p***ed off,” new owner Michaela Jordan (52) told German tabloid The Bild. “The city has kept everything from me. The dog had to undergo surgery four times, and in two weeks the fifth surgery is due.”

Vicious circle

Like Edda’s original owner, Jordan is now faced with mounting pug-related bills. In fact, it was the town of Ahlen’s dog tax that pushed the K. family over the brink – triggering this inhumane turn of events.

“Owners who pay their dog tax properly do not need to fear enforcement,” adds Merschhaus, by way of defending his colleagues, the dog-snatchers. “It is a very long way to seizure.”

Jordan is now considering suing the town for the cost of vet bills plus the original price paid on making the winning eBay bid. The details of Ahlen’s returns policy are not available at the time of going to press.

It may be a long way from dog tax evasion to seizure, as Merschhaus sneers. But it’s also a very long way from Rhineland to Ahlen when you only have little pug legs. For now, the K. family are coming to terms with their loss through the construction of a modest shrine to their repossessed puglet: a tasteful arrangement of her lead, leopard-print bowl, and painted portrait. 

Observers can only imagine what’s going through the dog’s mind as she’s floated back and forth on the tides of human absurdity.