Despite being with Ajax for the better part of the past three years, Matthew Hickey faces the reality of never seeing him again, all so the city can make a quick buck. Now he finds himself fighting tooth and claw to prevent that from happening.
“Ajax is a family member, one of my children,” said Hickey.
This all started because Hickey is up for retirement. He is 57, and Ajax is going to be six very soon. Ajax may have another six more years to go before he can even consider the notion.
“I was under the assumption I would end up with the dog [when I retired],” he said.
Hickey has even offered to pay for Ajax. He says he’d be happy to put up the $3,500 that the city claims Ajax is worth, as if you really could put a monetary value on a living thing. He’s even talked about it with his chief, and showed up the day he retired with cash in hand.
“I’m retiring today, basically here’s the money for the dog [and] he said ‘I can’t take the money for the dog,’” Hickey said.
Regardless of what he and the chief talked about, the city treats Ajax as if he is a piece of property owned by the city, never mind the fact that Ajax is a living thing.
“The dog is property of the city of Marietta,” Marietta Law Director Paul Betram III said. “Because it is personal property, it is treated like a shovel. That’s just the way it is.”
For now, Ajax is with Hickey. Hickey says that no matter what happens, all he wants is to be able to be with his best friend. He plans on doing everything within his powers to be sure he doesn’t lose him.