EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Rhode Island K9 is being recognized nationwide after being named Search and Rescue Dog of the Year.
Colonel Ann Assumpico from the Rhode Island State Police announced Thursday that K9 Ruby was selected for the national award.
“This is a tremendous honor for both K-9 Ruby and her handler, Trooper Daniel O’Neil,” Assumpico said. “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.”
Ruby and O’Neil were nominated for the award based on a search and rescue case they were involved in last fall. In October 2017, Ruby and O’Neil, were called to help find a teenage boy who had been missing in Glocester for 36 hours.
After hours of searching, Ruby and O’Neil were successful in finding the missing boy who ended up making a full recovery.
This story created an increase of public support for Ruby and O’Neil leading to their nomination and selection as Search and Rescue Dog of the Year. Ruby was also named as one of The 25 Most Heroic Dogs in America earlier this month.
Governor Gina Raimondo issued a statement as soon as she learned about Ruby’s selection.
“Ruby is Rhode Island’s top dog. If not for her efforts, a young man’s life could have been lost,” Raimondo said. “Ruby really is a hero. I commend the Rhode Island State Police for rescuing Ruby and training her for this important work.”
Along with winning this award, Ruby was also named a finalist for the 2018 American Hero Dog award which will be announced in September, Ruby and O’Neil will travel to Hollywood for the event and it will be broadcasted on the Hallmark Channel.
Ruby’s story was also featured in the film “Searchdog,” which was released in July 2018.
Voting is open for the American Hero Dog award until noon on Sept. 25. People are allowed to vote once per day.
RI State Police K9 Ruby named ‘Search and Rescue Dog of the Year’ and is a finalist for the American Humane 2018 Hero Dog Award. Read more about K-9 Ruby and her handler Trooper O’Neil on our website: https://t.co/X0N0yIPGtO. Vote for Ruby for Hero Dog at https://t.co/uNXjPyAWve pic.twitter.com/bqMmr1P8Lp
— RI State Police (@RIStatePolice) July 26, 2018