German man pretends his dog is a sheep to save taxes | News | DW | 27.01.2017

Visit the new DW website

Take a look at the beta version of We're not done yet! Your opinion can help us make it better.

  1. Inhalt
  2. Navigation
  3. Weitere Inhalte
  4. Metanavigation
  5. Suche
  6. Choose from 30 Languages


German man pretends his dog is a sheep to save taxes

A man from Rostock passed his Spanish water dog off as a sheep for years in order to avoid paying a license. After a veterinarian officially declared the animal a dog, the man now has to face a fine and a lawsuit.

Polizei überführt falsches Schaf

This dog was officially declared not to be a sheep

A man from Rostock in North-Eastern Germany pretended his dog was a sheep for years to avoid paying the "dog tax" local police revealed on Friday.

According to a press release, the man was spotted walking a dog without a license tag in the Rostock harbor area on Wednesday by a harbor employee. When the official confronted the dog owner, he reportedly said that the animal was a sheep rather than a dog, and thus did not need a tag.

Schaf in Nationalpark Hamburger Hallig

A sheep

The harbor official then contacted the police.

In Germany, dog owners have to pay a "dog tax" and receive a tag confirming that they paid the license. This ranges from 24 to 100 euros ($25 to $1,070)  per year depending on the breed of dog and the location.

When law enforcement showed up at the man's door the next day, the 35-year old kept insisting that his dog was in fact a sheep, according to the press release "even though it initially sounded like a joke." Officers then contacted a veterinarian, who officially confirmed that the animal was, in fact, a dog.

Perro de Agua Espanol Spanischer Wasserhund

A Spanish water dog

The dog in question was a Spanish water dog. Tall, with long shaggy curls, this dog breed vaguely resembles a sheep and closely resembles the Portuguese water dog, a dog breed largely known because former US President Barack Obama's dogs "Boo" and "Sunny" are of this breed.

Police stated that the owner of the non-sheep will have to pay a fine and likely face a tax-evasion lawsuit.

mb/jm (AFP, dpa)