Edda on eBay

We all love our pets. There is nothing better after a good or bad day than coming home to find that furry, scaled, or feathered pal waiting for you. When times are especially tough, our companions mean all the more to us. This sentiment was true to a family living in Ahlen, Germany of their beloved pet pug named Edda. Edda was helping see her family through financial troubles just before the holiday season in 2018 when she was ripped away from them. On December 6, Edda was seized by Ahlen city officials due to the family’s inability to pay a series of debts. The joyous holiday of Nikolaustag left the family in Ahlen with little to celebrate after watching their beloved pet taken from their home.

Edda was cataloged as one of the families most valuable assets and was to be taken as payment for outstanding bills. These debts included the inability of the family in Ahlen to pay a "dog tax," which is a tax imposed on all pet owners in the town of Ahlen. The family alleged that the city officials also considered taking the family’s shared laptop or a wheelchair which was used by a disabled member of the family. Edda was, however, deemed more valuable was she was an unspayed purebred pug. The city officials of Ahlen assessed Edda to be worth 850 dollars, which would go a long way in paying off the family’s debt.

The story does not end there. After assessing Edda’s value, city officials put the pug up for sale on eBay under a private account. Michaela Jordan, a police officer living 100 miles away, saw the dog on eBay and jumped at the opportunity to purchase the pug. Purebred dogs like Edda can sell for over 2,000 dollars in most cases, so while Jordan was skeptical of the price listed and method of procurement, city officials assured her that Edda was in perfect health and her seizure was perfectly legal.

Jordan received her new pet just after the New Year, and within one week Edda became very ill with an eye injury. While the cause of the injury is unknown, it required four surgeries costing over 2,000 dollars, and a fifth surgery may be required to fully treat the condition. Michaela Jordan is furious at the city officials of Ahlen for supplying misleading information about the health of the pug. Jordan is considering filing a lawsuit against the town of Ahlen and is demanding reparations for Edda’s medical procedures and her purchase price. 

City spokesperson, Frank Merschhaus, has made several statements defending the legality of Edda’s seizure as a legitimate tactic for dealing with outstanding debts. Merschhaus conceeds however, that the sale of Edda through a private eBay account was an ethically questionable decision of the officials in question. 

While Edda’s former owners are not challenging the legality of the situation, they are still reeling with the loss of their family member. The children of the family in Ahlen are aged five, seven, and nine, still cannot understand why their friend was taken away from them. They take solace in the fact that at least Edda is being taken care of with her new owner. The family continues to pay homage to their beloved pug each day by looking at a painting of Edda that hangs just above her food bowl and leash in the center of their home.

Sources: 1, 2, 3

Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4