PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Rhode Island State Police K-9 officer is in the running for a national award for her efforts in a successful recovery mission.
According to state police spokesperson Laura Meade Kirk, 6-year-old Ruby is a nominee for the Search and Rescue Hero Dog Award.
In October 2017, the Australian shepherd/border collie mix was involved in a search for a 19-year-old boy in Glocester.
After searching for 36 hours and coming up empty, the town’s police department reached out to state police for help.
Ruby and her handler, Trooper Dan O’Neil, responded to the call with other K-9 teams, Kirk said. When O’Neil interviewed the victim’s mother, he learned she had volunteered with the RISPCA six years ago and fostered Ruby each time she was returned to the shelter.
After hours of searching, Ruby found the missing teenager in critical condition. He was transported to an area hospital where he eventually made a full recovery.
“I believe that was Ruby’s way of saying thank you to [the boy’s mother] for taking care of her during her rough beginning,” O’Neil said. “Ruby was given a chance at life and ended up saving a life. With the efforts of two organizations [RISP and RISPCA] and a handful of amazing and dedicated people, great things can happen.”
Those who wish to support Ruby can vote once a day until the April 25 deadline.