German city seizes pug, sells it on eBay

The city of Ahlen seized a pug from a family as a way to settle the family's debt. But the pug's new owner is now suing the city, accusing it of giving a fraudulent description of the dog in the ad.

The city of Ahlen in western Germany is facing a lawsuit from the new owner of a pug that she bought from the city on eBay.

The dog, named Edda, was seized last year from an Ahlen family which had debts to the city, including unpaid dog taxes. The family tried to settle the debts through alternative means, but the city seized the pug because of its high value as a thoroughbred dog, according to German broadcaster WDR.

The dog was sold on eBay in December for €750 ($850) to Michaela Jordan, who works as a police officer. Jordan told the Ahlener Tageblatt newspaper that she was skeptical of the sale, even thinking the eBay listing was fake, but the city insisted the dog's seizure and its sale on eBay were legal. 

A week later, Jordan discovered that Edda had an eye infection, even though the eBay advertisement said the dog was healthy. The pug needed four operations, including an emergency operation during the Christmas holiday, at the Duisburg veterinary clinic, located more than 100 kilometers (61 miles) away from Ahlen.

Jordan told the Ahlener Tageblatt that she is taking legal action against the German city, seeking compensation for the costs of the treatments so far (approximately €1,800) as well as the purchase price.

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Great Dane

No, not Danish. These gentle giants are actually German. They're the result of German royals breeding ever-larger hunting companions in the 17th century. Great Danes are the world's largest dog breed — pictured above is the world's tallest dog from 2013. Germans today call them "Deutsche Dogge," a linguistic reference to the canine's British ancestors from the 16th century.

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American Eskimo

This dog suddenly became "American" after World War I, when the US dropped all references to its German origin. A territorial yapper, it became famous as a comic sidekick in US circus acts. Though the American Kennel Club calls this dog a unique breed, the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in Belgium disagrees. They say it remains what it has always been: a German Spitz.

10 dog breeds that originated in Germany


In the 1800s, three men in Munich bred a bulldog with a breed of unknown origin, and continued that experiment for a few more generations. The result is a dog with one of the most instantly recognizable faces in the canine world, one still defined by German guidelines written in 1902. The origin of the name "boxer" remains a mystery, though.

10 dog breeds that originated in Germany


"Dachs" means badger, while dachshund dogs were bred to hunt. Even today, these canines, often called wiener dogs in English, still enjoy burrowing — but also biting. A 2008 study showed 20 percent of domesticated dachshunds have bitten strangers. German Emperor Wilhelm II owned one, and when he visited Austria's Archduke Franz Ferdinand, it attacked and killed the archduke's golden pheasant.

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Munsterlander (small and large)

Small Munsterlanders (pictured) owe their revival in 1902 to a German named Edmund Löns, who saw in the neglected breed a fine-tuned hunting ability and a beautiful coat. They're the smallest of the German pointer/setter dogs, but, confusingly, are not at all related to large Munsterlanders. Small Munsterlanders are hard to come by, as high breeding standards keep them relatively scarce.

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Doberman pinscher

A half-day's walk from Weimar, in the town of Apolda, a court clerk named Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann had a problem. It was the late 1800s, and as a tax collector and officer, he needed protection during his night duties. Fortunately, he also ran the local pound. Through the crossbreeding of Weimaraners, pinschers and pointer dogs, he created the guard dog we now call the Doberman pinscher.

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Schnauzers are so closely related to pinschers that the two are considered a single group by the international dog authority, the FCI. In southern Germany, schnauzers served primarily as stall dogs, catching rats and mice. Since rodents have sharp teeth, the dogs' ears and tails were trimmed to protect them from bites. Today, "cropping" and "docking" are illegal in much of the EU and in Australia.

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They protected cattle and wagons carrying meat, scared away thieves and wild animals — rottweilers were a medieval trader's fiercely loyal companion. And they were fierce. They were bred in Rottweil, Germany, a former trade center, to protect goods at all cost. Their jaws are the strongest of any dog, with 328 pounds of bite pressure (149 kilograms).

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German shepherd

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