MARIETTA, Ohio — A retired officer may be losing his K-9 partner of four years because of a state law that requires the dog to be auctioned off.
Marietta police officer Matthew Hickey recently retired from the force after 30 years of service, according to WGHP. When he left, he was given the option to “buy” his K-9 partner, Ajax, for $3,500.
But Hickey couldn’t just buy the dog. Under Ohio law, Ajax must be auctioned off to the highest bidder because he could still serve in the police force. The 5-year-old dog could potentially work for another five years. If he was older and retiring, then Hickey could buy him for $1.
The state law prevents Hickey from keeping his beloved K-9 partner by his side despite national outcry. Marietta mayor told WGHP they want Hickey and Ajax together and the city’s law director is trying to come up with a solution to the issue.
A GoFundMe page was created to help Hickey raise money for the auction. People from all over the world have also called Marietta city hall about the issue, urging officials to keep Hickey and Ajax together.
The fundraising page has raised $23,650 as of Saturday.