A German town was already facing backlash for seizing a family’s prize pug and selling it on eBay. Now, the pooch’s buyer is threatening to sue, per local news reports, adding another ripple to the sad saga.
It all started last year in Ahlen, when town officials came to seize some of the family’s belongings due to unpaid taxes, including a dog tax, Deutsche Welle reported.
Authorities could not find much of value, however, and decided to take a purebred pug named Edda. According to the BBC, a town employee settled on a price of €750 (roughly $854) and listed the dog on eBay.
The dog was sold, but many reportedly criticized the decision to take the pet away from its owners as cruel. Ahlen’s treasurer, Dirk Schlebes, defended the move on Thursday, calling the seizure legal under foreclosure laws, according to German news agency dpa.
“We got a slightly lower price and the money went into the town coffers,” Schlebes told the news service.
But Michaela Jordan, a police officer who bought the dog, is now reportedly not happy with the animal’s health and is considering legal action.
Jordan said Edda’s asking price was half of what she would have expected to pay for a purebred and told local media she wasn’t sure if the listing was real at first, Deutsche Welle reported.
When the officer called the number listed, she spoke with a city official who explained the situation and assured her Edda was a healthy pug, per the BBC.
A week later, Jordan says she discovered the pug had eye problems that needed medical attention. Deutsche Welle reported the dog had had four operations since December, including an emergency one over Christmas.
Medical bills have allegedly cost Jordan more than $2,000 and now she wants to city to pay the price plus what she spent to buy Edda in the first place, according to Deutsche Welle.
Town spokesperson Frank Merschhaus told the BBC that the matter will be investigated.
The Local Germany, an English language news website, reported that Edda’s original owners are a family with three children who “miss Edda very much.”
Contributing: The Associated Press. Follow USA TODAY’s Ryan Miller on Twitter @RyanW_Miller
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