‘Rescued by Ruby’: Netflix movie tells story of shelter dog turned State Police K-9

WICKFORD, R.I. (WLNE)- ‘Rescued by Ruby’ is a story of a chance at life and fate. The tale of a rambunctious shelter dog turned Rhode Island State Police K-9 hits Netflix Thursday.

The 11-year-old Australian Shephard-Border Collie mix was adopted and returned several times from the RISPCA as a puppy. Volunteer and dog trainer Patricia Inman fought for Ruby’s life as she was at risk of being euthanized.

“It looked like she was not going to get another chance,” Inman told ABC6 News.

State Police Sergeant Matthew Zarella, who has since retired, vouched for the pup and helped get her into the barracks. The agency’s newest K-9 unit member, Corporal Dan O’Neil was then partnered with Ruby straight from the shelter.

The two quickly became inseparable.

O’Neil told ABC6 News in an interview Wednesday, of the ten years they’ve been partnered together, he estimates the pair have only spent about a month away from each other over the span of a decade.

Six years after they met, the partnership would take a turn that would save the life of a teenage boy.

A young boy went missing for 36 hours in the woods of Gloucester after going hiking.

O’Neil said while searching, Ruby darted into the woods. The Corporal said he assumed she got distracted and went into the woods. Minutes later, Ruby found the missing boy, unconscious and fighting for his life.

Due to lack of radio reception, the two were unable to call rescues for help. Ruby continued to bark, leading the rescue professionals to the remote location.

The young boy survived.

From there, Corporal O’Neil went to inform the mother of the boy.

The mother, who was desperate to know the condition of her son was none other than Ruby’s advocate and trainer: Patricia Inman.

“She said did you find him with the dogs?” Corporal O’Neil explaining the events, “I said yup. She asked, do you know Ruby?”

Inman explained she was a trainer of Ruby’s when she was at the shelter. O’Neil explained that Ruby was the dog that found her son.

“Wow..it was ruby?” Inman responded to the Trooper, “It was really meant to happen somehow.”

Ruby was named the nation’s search and rescue dog of the year in 2018, but her acclaim does not stop there.

The heroic dog will now be featured on a Netflix movie, “Rescued by Ruby” which tells her story. The movie premieres Thursday, March 17th.

Corporal O’Neil told ABC6 News he hopes the movie sheds light on search and rescue teams across the United States, as well as provides much needed recognition and representation. The Trooper also urges anyone who can, to adopt.

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