Ex-Ohio officer rejects deal to volunteer so he can keep K-9

MARIETTA, Ohio (AP) — A recently retired Ohio police officer says he has rejected an offer to work as a volunteer so he could keep his beloved K-9 partner.

Marietta officials have said they didn’t intend to separate Matt Hickey from his dog. They say he can keep Ajax if he works as an unpaid auxiliary officer.

But Hickey says he retired out of health concerns and hasn’t worked since July because of neck and shoulder injuries.

The story of Hickey and his K-9 partner drew public attention after Marietta rejected Hickey’s $3,500 offer to buy Ajax and said the dog would need to be auctioned because Ajax was city property and could still work.

Mayor Joe Matthews said Wednesday that Hickey has not contacted him with a response to the city’s offer.