UPDATE: Compromise Offered in Marietta K9 Snafu

“How am I supposed to believe the chief of police of Marietta, when he tells lies frequently?” Hickey said.




To see Life With Dog’s coverage of the original story, click here.


1.30.16 - Ajax


Back on January 30th, we brought you the story of retiring K9 handler Officer Hickey and his fight to keep the dog that he has worked with for over three years after he retires.  We are happy to report that there has been a compromise offered by the Marietta police, and although it may not be the perfect situation, it’s a very good starting point.

As stated in the previous article, Hickey is a K9 handler with the Marietta, Ohio police department.  He is retiring soon, and all he wanted in life was to take Ajax with him when he goes.  He was at first under the impression that the police force would allow him to do that.  Later, Hickey found out that he would not be allowed to keep the dog.  Instead, Ajax would fulfill another six years of service in the force after Hickey retired, then be put up for auction when he is ready to retire.

In an effort to keep Ajax, Hickey showed up the day he was to retire, with $3,500 in cash to buy Ajax from them.  The police force said that Ajax is “city property,” and is to be treated as such.  Even though he had the money (an arbitrary amount concocted by the city), the police chief couldn’t accept it, and Hickey was told he wouldn’t be allowed to take Ajax.

Naturally, once the story hit news outlets, there was a massive outpouring of support for Hickey.  The story has been passed all over forms of social media, and even gained enough attention to have people gathering donations to ensure that Hickey will be able to “buy” Ajax when auction time came.  As one could imagine, all of the negative press got to the Marietta Police, and they released an angry statement, and a shot at a possible compromise.

In the statement, police chief Rodney Hupp said, “Being a professional police officer means working to diffuse contentious situations, especially when something so simple as telling the truth is all that’s required.  As social media and the press ramped up around what should have been rendered a non-issue, former officer Hickey, for reasons known only to him, escalated the situation by being disingenuous.”

Basically, the chief is saying that there was no understanding that Hickey would get to keep Ajax when he retired.  Nothing of the sort, despite Hickey’s claims, had ever even been discussed.  Upon hearing the contents of the statement made by the city in regards to the situation, Hickey was very upset, and said that the chief of police is known to be a liar about particular things.  So much so, that Hickey outright accuses him of it in a return statement.

“How am I supposed to believe the chief of police of Marietta, when he tells lies frequently?”  Hickey said.  “I should have understood that I had somebody in that office that just does not know what they’re doing.  I’m ashamed of you.”

Regardless of who is and is not lying about the situation, the chief of police offered up a compromise.  Hickey will be invited to be an auxiliary police officer, which would allow him to have Ajax with him.  As of the time this was written, there was nothing in the way of a decision from Hickey on how things will proceed.  For more information as it is reported, be sure to check back with us regularly.


2.2.16 - Ajax2

69 thoughts on “UPDATE: Compromise Offered in Marietta K9 Snafu

  1. We should all contact Marietta police dept & tell them what we think!
    It shows you that they don’t have compassion for dogs!!
    Just give him the dog!!!!

  2. Its Marietta Ohio. A podunk river town. Let the guy keep his dog in exchange for him paying the amount that it would cost to purchase and train a new dog. I don’t see why the city is making this so complicated.

  3. I thought everything was good to go ??? A COMPROMISE??? YEAH STILL A PROBLEM Just let him have HIS DOG REALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Yeah, the officer would be better off waiting until his partner went to auction and buying him for $1, then all donated funds can go to equipping k9 officers with protective vests. That’s a win -win.

  5. I see that there’s more than enough money to buy and train a new dog. Give the city what they want ($$$), give him the dog, & have the commission change the laws to prevent this in the future. Also sounds like the people may need to push to have the chief removed also if he is what he appears to be.

  6. Give the man his dog, auctioning off a living breathing, hardworking canine officer, who has completed his duty! That is a pity and a shame.

  7. So basically two dishonest badge criminals, lying their asses off over a dog they trained to be a weapon?
    Does that sound about right?
    Neither one ought to be around any dog, ever.

  8. Wouldn’t it have been nice and appreciative for the police department to have given Ajax to him for his service upon retirement.
    Some people are just not nice! Watch out – it will bite the chief if he doesn’t make it right.

  9. An auxiliary officer? So retire but still work as an officer? Double dipping? Hell yeah! Not sure if that’s what they mean however.

    1. From another article, basically they want him to work for FREE. He would not get paid as an auxiliary officer.

  10. This “compromise” is BS. Hickey wants to retire, he should not have to continue as an “auxiliary police officer” in order to keep this dog. Let him buy it already.

  11. I am definitely not in agreement with the fact that the dog is going to be auctioned. In every other police dept (large cities anyway) the dog is reassigned to another officer When I first read this I thought they were both retiring.

    1. Actually the dog will get reassigned. The officer has to wait 6 years to maybe get his dog. That would make the dog 11 (it’s 5 now) so based on his breed and the fact that he is a police dog, makes a Reunion not very likely.

  12. sad as it is, the dog is not due to retire, while this seems wrong and yes the dog is just property to the city i am of the understanding the dog has 6 more years to work, all said lets hope for a happy out come, may be the police officer should hold on his retirement,

  13. They should let you buy him if they need the money that bad
    Your chief is an asshole. Get your dog and come to Colorado. He will love it here! Everyone has dogs here.

  14. This article really doesn’t say anything that isn’t being reported here https://www.gofundme.com/yumeagsk

    This is the the GoFundMe page where money is being raised to help Ofc. Hickey “buy” Ajax. Doesn’t appear that purchasing Ajax is going to be an option at this point in time.

    I recommend checking back for updates at the fundraiser site as it seems to be the best place to get *ACCURATE* information:

  15. Give this police officer his dog….Forget the gold watch and the party, just give the officer his dog. The officer retires the dog goes with….Let’s keep in mind the mind and heart of the dog. They belong together. Shame on anyone auctioning off a dog.

  16. This article really doesn’t say anything that isn’t being already being reported elsewhere so it’s not really an “update” of the original information. It appears that the *most* updated and accurate information (from a reliable source) can be found on the fundraiser page so go HERE: https://www.gofundme.com/yumeagsk

  17. Playing devil’s advocate here . . . if Ajax *can* still work and be of use to someone, somewhere, AND if he was purchased with taxpayer money, the city really does have an obligation to explore all of Ajax’s options before retiring him OR allowing him to be auctioned off. K9 dogs *are* considered “property” but only for the sake of knowing how & when to take them out of service, just like their vehicles. If a city’s police dept. bought brand new police cruisers with high tech gadgets 4 yrs. ago (with taxpayer money) and then suddenly said “OK officers you can each take your cruiser home with you and keep it ‘just because’ and we’ll buy new ones”, taxpayers would be freaking out and demand the PD rescind the offer or justify it. The cars would still have high value and be of good use to the dept. or another agency. This isn’t any different; you just need to take the emotional component out of the decision that has to be made. Ret. Ofc. Hickey has never had “ownership” of Ajax and the city truly doesn’t have the power to just GIVE him the dog.

  18. This situation could be remedied if Hickey would donate the money he received to buy Ajax to the Sheriff Office which would then allow them to purchase another trained K9 officer to replace Ajax and probably fund bullet proof vests for the whole K9 team. Think about the positive press that could bring instead of this infighting! Now that the story is further jumbled up about who really said what, don’t make Ajax pay for it. The Sheriff Office should take the higher road.

  19. Yet in other cities, even if a k-9 dies.. the funeral is of deep compassion, awarded and respected… here the k-9 is treated as property which is disrespectful and unforgiving to both parties involved …. Just auction him off to the highest bidder.. They should be shamed around the world for their lack of integrity

  20. that’s a crap compromise. being an auxiliary officer post retirement is still being under the thumb of the asshole police chief. i do not believe for one minute that after this escalation that the police chief would be nice to hickey if he did become an auxiliary officer.

  21. Good Grief People…..
    Sorry, but this isn’t a pet!!!
    K-9 Police officers and their K-9’s are highly trained. And this highly trained working K-9 is NOT retiring. The handler is. Ajax (the dog) still has plenty of years left to do what he was trained to do. Which in case you forgot (and judging by the comments you all have) is to help Police Officers to Protect & Serve!!!
    This type of auction wouldn’t be open to the general public. So why not let another police department purchase him so he can continue to do what he does best???
    I promise you this, Ajax will be properly cared for and loved by the next handler. Again, this is not a pet!
    There is a REAL difference between a working dog like Ajax and a pet!!!

  22. If the K9 dog is being auctioned and only other police agencies can purchase him, that means Marietta no longer wants the dog. So why would they care if the retiring officer takes the dog or another police department? The officer is willing to pay for his four-legged partner. The town will get money for the dog, and the man and dog can walk off into retirement.

  23. Ajax is serving the humans and beyond..working hand and hand with other officers. Doing the same line of human as police officer that works to protect.. but he will be auctioned like a property. Is this how Marietta return the gratitude? Please think again, there should be exception to the rule, should consider the situation. Ajax is not an ordinary officer. The least thing to return the gratitude is to have him be with the person who has the heart to protect him as well.

  24. The dog is young and is still viable to the dept. They don’t have to offer the dog as this officers “gold watch” for retirement.

  25. Need to re-do some in-house contracts it sounds like.
    Depending on the situation , if the K9 is still relatively young with more than 5 working years left , he is placed with a new handler. Should K9 and Officer both be at or close to retirement age , the two stick together.
    Working dogs are definitely different than our average domestic dog , our furbaby.
    When a seasoned Police Officer is preparing to retire from the force does he ask to have his 30 year old colleague retire too because they formed a tight brotherhood ? No.
    Hope everything works out for the best. Especially for K9 Ajax !!

  26. Just give the dog back to him . Don’t auction animals like that , or throw them away. Please give him back to this precious family who loves him

  27. Dogs DO have feelings of attachment…WHAT IF they auction this dog off and he DOESNT perform his duties due to missing his former handler? Well we all know the answer to THAT!

  28. Compromise Hell !! Do the right thing. If these folks do not give this man this dog, they are the most hard hearted people on this earth. There are more dog lovers then these folks ever could count. This is something we should not even have to be arguing over. Period. GIVE THE MAN HIS DOG !!! DO THE RIGHT THING !!! WE WILL NOT LET UP !!!! This Dog is a breathing animal . That feels pain and yes feels love. Not an inanimate object !!! Hell they do get attached to their partner. This dog has been his partner for over three years. They do bond and need to bond to be able to work together. That is the whole point of the K9 unit and their human partner. Dogs are not robots and neither are their human partners.They risk their lives for each other. That this dog is the property of the city? Hell he is not a computer. Not a thing. It is a living and breathing animal that has bonded with his partner. GIVE THE MAN THE DOG !!!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.