MARIETTA, OH – For the past 4 years, Marietta police officer Matthew Hickey has had his K-9 partner, Ajax, by his side.
Officer Hickey recently retired from the force after 30 years of service, and he was given the option to “buy” Ajax for $3500, so the two could remain together.
But under Ohio law, the city can’t just let Hickey buy Ajax. The dog must be auctioned off to the highest bidder, because Ajax sill has a “useful life” ahead of him. Ajax is 5 years old and could potentially work about 5 more years. If he were an older dog and was retiring, Hickey could buy him for $1.
The city has another K-9 officer, so they don’t need Ajax, but Mayor Joe Matthews tells Fox 8 that his hands are tied and they must auction Ajax. The mayor says they want Hickey to be able to buy Ajax, and the city’s law director is trying to come up with a solution to the issue.
The city has been flooded with calls from all over the world – even from Australia – in favor of keeping Hickey and Ajax together.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Hickey bid on Ajax. In just one day, that account raised $17,765 of $3,500 goal. The plan is for any money to be donated to a K-9 fund to help purchase bullet-resistant vests for K-9 law enforcement officers.