SCITUATE, RI (WPRI) – Rhode Island State Police say the K-9 Ruby was shot down Friday after suffering “sudden, acute and incurable illness.” She was 11 years old.
“Today the Rhode Island State Police family mourns the death of K-9 Ruby,” Col. Darnell Weaver said.
In 2017, Ruby was able to find a lost and distressed teenager, who happened to be the son of a shelter volunteer who had cared for her as a puppy. Ruby was named American Humane Hero Search and Rescue Dog of the Year in 2018.
In 2022 Netflix released a movie based on her life, “Rescued by Ruby”.
“His partnership with Corporal O’Neil was special and their search and rescue work in our K-9 unit was a great service to the people of Rhode Island who needed their help. Her award-winning rescue inspired us and we are grateful for her years of service,” Weaver said.
Ruby was with the Rhode Island State Police for 11 years and was cared for by Corporal Daniel O’Neil. She was an Australian Shepherd and Border Collie mix, adopted by the RISPCA and was one of the first shelter dogs trained to serve with the department.
During her career, she and Corporal O’Neil participated in numerous search and rescue missions as part of the K-9 unit and volunteered with the Community, Diversity and Equity unit, appearing in schools and at many events.
“She has become a beacon of hope for all shelter dogs, showing the world what a shelter dog can do when given love and the chance to shine,” Weaver added. “She had a full, happy and wonderful life, not just as a soldier, but with a loving family. She worked until the end and never gave up on doing what she loved the most: making people smile.
Ruby lived with Corporal O’Neil and his family. She will be honored privately.