A family in Germany has been left brokenhearted after their pedigree pug, Edda, was seized by their town over unpaid debts and sold to a new owner in a controversial eBay transaction.
A wife and mother of three owed her town of Ahlen money, including some in unpaid pet taxes, and the city decided to seize her most valuable asset: Edda the dog.
The town then sold Edda to a new owner from a private account on eBay for just €750 ($853.53). Edda's new owner, a police officer named Michaela Jordan, said she expected to pay twice that amount for the pedigree pup, BBC reports.
The situation became even more confusing when it was revealed that Jordan purchased the dog in December after speaking to a member of the Ahlen administration, because she was suspicious of the low price. After being assured that Edda was in good health, she went through with the purchase.
However, she says that Edda has a number of health issues that have been costly and unexpected over the last few months, including four operations for eye problems and an emergency operation over the holidays.
Jordan is now seeking €1,800 ($2048) in damages from the town.
Edda's original owner, who was not identified, said the way the situation was handled was "absolutely not okay," and that although the seizure of her dog was legal, her three children were extremely sad to see the dog taken away. She added, however, that it was obvious Edda was "in good hands" with Jordan.
In another confusing element of the story, local media outlets originally reported that the town of Ahlen first considered seizing the wheelchair belonging to the disabled husband of Edda's original owner, as it was first thought to be the most valuable asset the family owned.
City spokesperson Frank Merschhaus hotly rejected that accusation, dubbing it a "wicked rumor."
"Aids to guarantee the mobility of people with disabilities are absolutely exempt from being seized as collateral - unlike pets," he said. "No enforcement officer would come up with the idea."
A full investigation into the seizuire and sale of Edda will reportedly be launched, including that of the private eBay account that sold her.