Cop Begs To Keep Beloved Dog — But He's Being Sold Instead
On the day police officer Matthew Hickey retired, he had to say goodbye to his best friend.
It wasn't supposed to be like that. Hickey, a 30-year-veteran with the Marietta Police Department, imagined he would be sharing those rolling green acres of retirement with his stalwart companion, Ajax the police dog.
"Ajax is a family member, one of my children," Hickey told local station WBNS-10.
Trouble is, while Hickey has reached retirement age, his dog has not, WTAP-TV reports. At almost 6 years old, Ajax could work as many as six more years.
But it would be with a new partner. The city of Marietta, in Ohio, plans to auction off Ajax to the highest bidder.
Initially, Marietta officials offered a compromise: Hickey could pay $3,500 for the dog and the two could retire together.
On the day Hickey retired, however, the police department apparently had a change of heart.
"I had the money for the dog and was ready to hand it to the the chief of poice, and the chief of police said he couldn't take it," Hickey told WTAP-TV.
You see, Ajax isn't just any dog - he's a police dog. And to this department, that means police property.
"The dog is property of the city of Marietta," the city's law director Paul Betram III told WBNS-10. "Because it is personal property, it is treated like a shovel. That's just the way it is."
The "it" in question, in case you were wondering, is a living, breathing animal, a dog who has been serving his city with distinction alongside Hickey for three years.
The city, for its part, is now promising to listen to the public's complaints. It posted late Friday night on Facebook:
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Hickey earn more money to buy back his best friend. With an initial goal of $3,500, the page has now raised more than $20,000.