MARIETTA, Ohio (January 31, 2016) — A retired police officer wants to purchase his longtime K9 partner so the two can stay together, but the town says he’s going to have bid for him.
Officer Matt Hickey recently retired from the force after 30 years of service. Now that he’s retired, he wants to buy his K9 partner Ajax. He’s offered to buy the dog for $3,500 — Ajax’s estimated value. But the city says Ajax must be sold at auction because he’s public property.
According to FOX8, the city has another K9 officer, so they don’t need Ajax. But Mayor Joe Matthews says he can’t do anything about it, and they must abide by the law.
A GoFundMe page was set up to help Hickey buy Ajax, and it has raised more than $41,000 as of Sunday. All extra funds will be given to an organization that provides bullet/stab proof vests to K9 units “since there has been a spike in K9 officers being killed in the line of duty.”
According to the GoFundMe page, the date of the auction will be set on February 4. Marietta officials say they’ll only allow a police officer, active or retired, or a trainer of police dogs to bid on Ajax.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.