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Updated: 8:40 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1, 2016 | Posted: 7:16 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016

City of Marietta responds to K-9 auction case


City of Marietta responds to K-9 auction case photo
Retired Marietta police Officer Matt Hickey and his longtime partner Ajax. (Contributed)

Breaking News Staff


UPDATE @ 8:15 p.m. (Feb. 1): The City of Marietta, in a prepared statement released tonight via Facebook, stands by its offer to appoint retired police Officer Matt Hickey to the position of an auxiliary officer with duties that would include his being a keeper for K-9 Officer Ajax.

According to the statement, Hickey agreed to the arrangement last week after the city council on Jan. 28 voiced support for keeping the dog with Hickey.

There has been no comment from Hickey and word on what will happen to the more than $50,000 pledged to a GoFundMe page set up to help the former officer buy Ajax when the city takes the dog to auction.

According to the city. K-9 officers retired because of age or infirmity are offered to their former partners, by state law, for $1. Ajax has several working years remaining in his career and according to state law would have to be sold at auction if the officer wanted to purchase the animal before the K-9 is officially retired, according to the statement.


People have stepped up to help a retired Ohio police officer purchase his longtime K9 partner.

By Sunday, a GoFundMe page set up to help buy Ajax when the city takes it to auction had raised more than $50,000.

Recently retired Marietta officer Matt Hickey has offered to buy the dog for $3,500 — the police dog’s estimated value, but the city said Ajax must be sold at auction because he’s public property, according to the Associated Press report.

Any excess funds raised on the GoFundMe page will go toward buying protective vests for other K9 officers, according to the AP report.

In an interview with WBNS-TV in Columbus, Hickey said he has cared for the dog for three years and that he’s like a family member.

Marietta officials said they’ll only allow a police officer, active or retired, or a trainer of police dogs to bid on Ajax, according to the AP.

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