Ruby was just two hours away from a death sentence – and if she hadn’t been saved, this incredible moment that happened four years later may have never come to be.
Ruby was an “unadoptable” shelter dog who had been sent back to the shelter again and again due to behavioral problems. Patricia Inman, who worked with the shelter, had spent so long trying to train her and was seeing improvements, but it just wasn’t enough. As a last resort, just two hours before Ruby’s scheduled euthanasia, she called in a Rhode Island State Trooper named Officer Matthew Zarella and begged him to adopt Ruby.
Zarella fell in love with Ruby and her unquenchable energy immediately, but he knew there was someone who she would fit right in at home with: Officer Daniel O’Neal, an avid dog-lover who had requested a K-9 partner for years. O’Neal was thrilled at this turn of events and dedicated the next several months to training her.
It was a difficult and arduous journey. Ruby was difficult, wild, and energetic, and sometimes things got really tough for O’Neal. But slowly and surely, Ruby began to learn and correct old behavioral problems, and she fit in well with O’Neal’s wife, newborn child, and other dog.
Then, four years later, an amazing and serendipitous thing happened. O’Neal and Ruby, along with other officers, were dispatched to locate a missing teenager in the woods. They followed the path, investigating, when Ruby suddenly broke away and dashed to a ledge. It wasn’t long before she was barking to get O’Neal to follow her.
Ruby had found the missing teen and she was licking his face in an attempt to revive him. The young man had collapsed and suffered a severe laceration to the head. His pulse was faint and O’Neal quickly called for emergency help. When first responders were unable to locate them, Ruby barked loudly so they could follow her voice.
But as it turned out, Ruby has a deep connection to the teenager and his family, and when O’Neal found out what it was, he couldn’t believe it. Watch the video to find out what that connection is!
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