K9 rescue dog “saved by Ruby” euthanized due to incurable disease.


Immortalized in a Netflix movie, documentary and numerous news stories across the country, State Police K-9 Ruby was euthanized on Friday to end a sudden, incurable illness.

“Today the Rhode Island State Police family mourns the death of K-9 Ruby,” said Col. Darnell S. Weaver, Rhode Island State Police Superintendent and Director of the Department of Public Safety, according to a press release. “His partnership with Corporal [Dan] O’Neil was special and their search and rescue work in our K-9 unit was of 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.

Earlier this year: Rhode Island State Police search dog Ruby made a film about her life

How much is true? : The new Netflix movie features RI and a K-9 hero rescued from a shelter.

Ruby served in the State Police for 11 years, serving under O’Neil. A mix of Border Collie and Australian Shepherd, Ruby was adopted and returned to the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals five times before being deemed unadoptable. She came hours after being euthanized when state police selected her for training. She participated in many search and rescue missions and often appeared in schools and at community events.

In late 2017, Ruby found an injured teenager in time for rescuers to save his life. O’Neil and state police didn’t learn until later that the teen’s mother played a key role in getting Ruby into K-9 training, and the family didn’t know the dog who had found their beloved was Ruby.

From the archives: The rescued becomes the savior

The coincidence made such a compelling story that Ruby was nominated and got the top score in the national online voting to become the American Humane Hero Search and Rescue Dog of the Year in 2018. She and O’Neil have been flown to Hollywood for a week. morning shows and celebrity news events with the other contestants in other categories. All were competing to win as the top hero dog overall, and the week ended with the taping of a star-studded dinner and awards show, followed by another press tour in New York.

Ruby’s story of narrowly escaping the fate of many shelter dogs and being lucky enough to put her endless energy into becoming a helpful State Police K-9 has been made into a Netflix movie 2022, “Rescued by Ruby”. Just before the streaming service released the film in mid-March, a preview was shown for members of the State Police and their families at the East Greenwich Odeum. Everyone who had been played by an actor was invited on stage to be interviewed by the film’s husband-and-wife writer-producer team.

Among them was Mark Zarrella, who had spent his RISP career building a K-9 department by training dog handler teams and convincing executives that K-9s in various police specialties save hundreds of hours of police work. . He retired and now runs American Patriot K-9 Training, at www.ampkt.com.

Another was Patricia Inman, a trainer and RISPCA volunteer who worked with Ruby each time she was returned to the shelter for unacceptable behavior. After five tries, Ruby was declared inadoptable and sentenced to euthanasia. Inman had a theory that Ruby didn’t need a family but a job, and she asked Joe Warzycha, the agency’s investigator, to ask Zarrella to consider her for police training,

Inman said in a Facebook post on Sunday that she was heartbroken and, in a social media exchange, said: “Ruby was super smart and loved working with her human partner. Dan’s dedication made all the difference in the world for Ruby, and she in turn changed the world for many of us.”

Ruby was part of the O’Neil family. The state police news release said O’Neil would not be available for interviews and asked that the family’s privacy be respected.

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