When Officer Matthew Hickey of the Marietta Police Department in Ohio retired last week after 30 years of services, he assumed his K-9 partner of four years would spend his golden years with him.
However, according to WCMH-TV Columbus, the dog — Ajax — is still a healthy, active dog and will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.
The city is reportedly only following Ohio state law, which states “officers are allowed to purchase their K-9 partners when the dog is retired for just one dollar.” But only Hickey is retiring.
“Another section of this particular law that says if a law enforcement officer leaves the unit, and in this situation, Officer Hickey is leaving the unit,” Paul Bertram, city of Marietta Law Director, told the news station. “That particular section says that the officer forfeits the right to purchase the dog, under this provision.”
The community set up a GoFundMe page to help Hickey raise $3,500 – what the officer reportedly was told Ajax was worth as a city property.
“I had the money for the dog and was ready to hand it to the chief of police, and the chief of police said he couldn’t take it,” Hickey told the station.
At the time of publishing, almost $63,000 has been raised in the past three days.
The GoFundMe page now is reporting Marietta city officials will be holding a press conference at 2 p.m. EST today regarding “the disposition of Ajax.”