Ohio officials say they have offered a compromise to a recently retired police officer who wants to keep his K-9 partner.

Officials in Marietta said Monday that they never intended to separate Matt Hickey from his dog. The story of Hickey and his K-9 partner Ajax drew public attention after Marietta rejected Hickey’s $3,500 offer to buy Ajax and said the dog would have to be auctioned because Ajax was city property and could still work.

But officials now say Hickey can keep Ajax if Hickey agrees to work as an unpaid auxiliary officer.

Hickey hasn’t decided whether to accept Marietta’s offer. He and Ajax were partners for four years.

A GoFundMe Account to help Hickey buy Ajax has raised $70,000.

(Copyright (c) 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox