A retired Marietta, Ohio, police officer’s K-9 will be auctioned off despite his offer to buy his former partner, according to KTLA sister station WJW.
Officer Matthew Hickey and K-9 partner Ajax were together for four years, the station reported. Hickey, who had served on the force for 30 years, recently retired.
Initially, he was given the option to buy Ajax for $3,500, but that offer was subsequently “rescinded,” according to a GoFundMe page set up to help Hickey keep the dog.
The page is trying to raise $3,500, an amount equal to the starting to bid to buy Ajax.
The city cannot allow Hickey to buy Ajax because of an Ohio law. The 5-year-old K-9 officer still has a “useful life” ahead of him, and consequently must be auctioned off as a result, WJW reported.
If the K-9 were older, Hickey would have been able to pay $1 to keep him.
Marietta Mayor Joe Matthews told the television station that the city would like Hickey to be able to buy the dog, and they were working on a solution.
An auction date would be set on Feb. 4, according to the GoFundMe page, which was set up by Corey Orr, Hickey’s friend.
The page initially sought to raise $3,500, the amount needed for Hickey to buy Ajax, but it has far surpassed that goal. As of Sunday morning, it had raised nearly $40,000.
All additional funds after the achieved goal amount would be donated to purchase bullet resistant vests for K-9 officers, Orr said.