PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island dog whose inspiring story went from shelter dog to lifesaving cop K-9 to become Topics for recent Netflix movies has been euthanized.
State police said Sunday K-9 Ruby was suspended Friday for “sudden, acute and incurable illness.” She is 11 years old.
State Police Department Col. Danel Weaver expressed gratitude to K-9 Ruby for many years of service.
“K-9 Ruby has dedicated her life to serving the citizens of Rhode Island and having a positive impact on everyone she has ever come into contact with,” he said in a statement. She became a symbol of hope for all shelter dogs, showing her to the world Show what shelter dogs can do when given a chance to love and shine. “
Weaver said Ruby served 11 years with the Rhode Island State Police under Corporal Daniel O’Neal.
Part of the Australian Shepherd and Border Collie, Ruby was one of the first shelter dogs trained to serve the Rhode Island State Police. She has participated in many search and rescue missions and has made many public appearances throughout her career.
Ruby gained notoriety in 2017 when she found a teenager who was seriously injured while hiking in the woods. The boy turned out to be the son of an animal shelter volunteer who had been trying to stop her from being put down.
“She’s a complete fool,” Patricia Inman, a shelter volunteer and dog trainer told the Associated Press Ruby, who was returned by five families before O’Neal adopted his then eight-month-old child in 2011.
Ruby’s rescue work has earned national recognition — American Humanitarian Hero Dogs named her the nation’s “Search and Rescue Dog of the Year” — and her story has been adapted into the 2022 Netflix film “Saved by Ruby.”
“She lived a full, happy and wonderful life, not only as a soldier, but as part of a loving family,” Weaver said. “She worked until the end and never gave up doing what she loves most – making people smile.”
Police said Ruby lived with O’Neal and his family and would be honored privately.
“She was given an opportunity, and she’s been doing her best to pay it back,” O’Neal said earlier this year. “You have this abandoned dog who has changed so many lives.”
Despite her acclaimed search-and-rescue career, Ruby’s mischievous spirit is irrepressible: Three years ago, she ran wild near a state park, safe and sound After 19 hours of searching. She recently returned from a bathroom break with a live skunk writhing and squirting in her mouth.
Antics is part of Ruby, well, Ruby. Most importantly, she is a good dog.
“If you show them love and compassion and give them some type of stability, they’ll show who they are,” O’Neal said.