EAST PROVIDENCE, RI — K-9 Ruby has been named Search and Rescue Dog of the Year, the Rhode Island State Police said. The dog with a hard luck story captured the most votes in her category in the American Humane Hero Dog contest. She’s now a finalist for the Hero Dog award. The winner will be decided in September.
Ruby’s fans can vote for her every day at www.herodogawards.org.
Ruby’s career with the state police came about hours before she was scheduled to be put down. As a problem dog, adopted out unsuccessfully several times, she was declared un-adoptable. But then the state police and the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals decided to give her another chance as a working dog.
She made good.
“This is a tremendous honor for both K-9 Ruby and her handler, Trooper Daniel O’Neil,” said Col. Ann C. Assumpico. “It also is a tribute to the entire Rhode Island State Police Canine Unit, showcasing some of the vital work they do to serve and protect Rhode Islanders every day.”
K-9 Ruby and Trooper O’Neil saved a young man lost in the woods for two days. He “barely alive” when found. Ironically, his mother, who volunteered with the animal shelter where Ruby was sent, had once given her a foster home.
Ruby will compete with six other dogs for the Hero Dog prize. The other dogs won as Law Enforcement/Arson Dog of the Year; Emerging Hero Dog of the Year; Guide/Hearing Dog of the year; Military Dog of the Year; Service Dog of the Year; and Therapy Dog of the Year.
Courtesy Photo: Rhode Island State Police