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Marietta, Ohio police officer Matt Hickey worked alongside his K9 partner, Ajax, for 4 years. When he retired last month, he hoped to take his partner, who he considers his family, along with him.
The city originally gave Hickey the opportunity to purchase Ajax, valuing him at $3,500, but due to state law, rescinded the offer.
Because Ajax is considered public property, state law requires any public property valued at more than $1,000 must be auctioned off to the highest bidder.
So, to guarantee that Hickey is the highest bidder in Ajax’s auction and that his longtime partner, companion, and family member will stay with him, supporters from around the world have donated to a GoFundMe page – now in excess of $60,000.
Any funds raised in excess of those needed to “win” Ajax will be donated to an organization that provides bullet and stab-proof vests to K-9 officers around the country.
“The outpouring of the response to this is tremendous. I cannot say enough and of course I wish I could thank each and every one of them of course and I can’t. But hopefully this gets out to them and tells them that we really do appreciate what’s going on,” Hickey told WSAZ News.
A date for Ajax’s auction has not yet been set.