Scituate, RI – Rhode Island State Police (RISP) K9 Ruby died on May 13 after she was diagnosed with a “sudden, acute, and untreatable illness,” according to police.
The 11-and-one-half-year-old border collie and Australian shepherd mix was humanely euthanized to end her suffering, The Providence Journal reported.
“Today the Rhode Island State Police family is mourning the death of K-9 Ruby,” RISP Superintendent Colonel Darnell Weaver said in a press release. “Her partnership with Corporal [Dan] O’Neil was a special one and their search and rescue work in our K-9 Unit was a great service to the Rhode Islanders who have needed their help. Her award-winning rescue inspired us and we are grateful for her years of service.”
K9 Ruby was adopted and returned to the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals five times before she was ultimately determined to been unadoptable, The Providence Journal reported.
She was just hours away from being euthanized when the RISP chose her to go through its police dog training program.
K9 Ruby went on serve her department alongside Cpl. O’Neil for 11 years, The Providence Journal reported.
The duo conducted many search and rescue missions and enjoyed visiting schools and participating in events throughout the community.
K9 Ruby located an injured teenager in 2017 and helped saved the boy’s life, according to The Providence Journal.
The RISP later discovered that the injured teen’s mother worked as a volunteer at the shelter and had cared for K9 Ruby as a puppy – a fact the boy’s family also didn’t know at the time of his rescue, WPRI reported.
The heroic rescues of both the boy and of K9 Ruby resulted in her being nationally chosen as the American Humane Hero Dog Search and Rescue Dog of the Year in 2018, The Providence Journal reported.
K9 Ruby’s story was also chronicled in the 2022 Netflix movie, “Rescued by Ruby,” which premiered in March.
“K-9 Ruby dedicated her life to serve the citizens of Rhode Island and make a positive impact on every person she ever interacted with,” Col. Weaver said, according to WPRI. “She became a symbol of hope for all shelter dogs, showing the world what a shelter dog can do when just given love and the chance to shine.”
“She had a full, happy, and wonderful life, not only as a trooper, but as part of a loving family,” the colonel added. “She worked right until the end and never gave up doing what she loved most – making people smile.”
Rhode Island State Police K9 Ruby, star of Netflix film, has been euthanized
😢RIP, Ruby. Don't know if there are skunks in heaven but you'll be OK
Condolences to Corporal O'Neil, family, and the RISP#BackTheBlue #ThinBlueLine #dog #K9 #police #military #MWD #WaronDrugs pic.twitter.com/zO8ExkTlTU
— On Patrol K9 (@OnPatrolK9) May 16, 2022
A message from K9 Ruby: It's hot out here! Hot cars cause heatstroke for kids & K9s. Always check the front and back of the car before locking the door and walking away. #AlwaysThere pic.twitter.com/IpEcua7Z0y
— RI State Police (@RIStatePolice) July 16, 2021
Coming to a TV near you! Netflix set to release a movie based on 2 underdogs @RIStatePolice Corporal Daniel O’Neil and his search & rescue K9 Ruby. After overcoming obstacles they became a dream team. Troopers get a first look at the film tonight the rest of us on the [email protected] 530 pic.twitter.com/uWWGnrpDhU
— Sam Read (@NBC10_Sam) March 14, 2022
A HUGE thank you to RISP Cpl. Dan O’Neil and k9 Ruby & Koda for taking the time to chat with our exploratory students today! We loved learning about being a k9 officer and all your hard work & dedication to your community. Our students absolutely loved meeting you and the pups 💙 pic.twitter.com/qXIo8UsiMK
— Erin Mulcahy (@EriMulcahy) March 28, 2022
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Rhode Island State Police and Corporal O’Neil in the loss of K9 Ruby.