UPDATE 2/6/15: Officer Hickey was able to purchase Ajax for…(drum roll, please….) a whole dollar! Over $72,000 was raised on their Go Fund Me page and will be used to purchase bullet-resistant vests for K-9’s. You can check out the whole story via NBC news.
Original feature below:
While K-9’s are trained to work with their human police partners and live with their families, the dogs are not necessarily “owned” by their handlers.
Officer Matt Hickey from Marietta, Ohio felt blindsided when he learned that after he retired, his K-9 Ajax–who he’d lived and worked with for three years–was to be auctioned off like a pair of pewter candlesticks.
“I was under the assumption I would end up with the dog [when I retired],” he said in an interview by WBNS-10 TV.
But…. the state had other plans for Ajax, who they consider their property.
“Ajax is a family member, one of my children,” said Hickey in the aforementioned interview.
With the potential to work for another half-dozen years (and thus, “working property”), the K-9 will be sold to the highest bidder at a state auction.
On the day he retired, Officer Hickey readily offered the state what the German Shepherd is worth–a hefty $3,500–but Ajax is still scheduled to go to auction. According to Ohio law, only older K-9’s or those injured in the line of duty can be bought by their human partners.
“I’m afraid somebody might take the dog and auction way high and go over my head,” Hickey said in the WBNS-10TV interview.
Still optimistic, Officer Hickey is hoping that no one else will bid on Ajax. Also in Hickey’s favor, according to the city, only a police officer or someone who trains K-9’s would be eligible to bid on the German Shepherd.
We hope that the auction-goers are compassionate enough let Hickey’s bid win.
You can help make sure Officer Hickey has the WINNING bid for Ajax by donating to his Go Fund Me page. Leftover funds will be donated towards the purchase of bullet resistant vests for K-9 officers!
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