No movie will convince you that we don’t deserve dogs more than Rescued By Ruby, a heartwarming story of canine heroics that is coming to Netflix on Thursday. Starring Grant Gustin, aka the guy from The Flash, it’s a film that’s sure to get the waterworks going whether or not you’re a dog lover.
But viewers will have a tough time not loving Ruby, a shepherd-collie mix who goes from a mischievous mutt to a noble hero—and all she need was a little peace, love, and understanding. What’s so funny about that?
And wait, there’s more—not only is Rescued By Ruby an emotional, feel-good story about a dog, it’s also an emotional, feel-good story about a real dog. That’s right, Rescued By Ruby is based on the true story of police officer Daniel O’Neil and his police dog Ruby. Read on to learn more about the Rescued By Ruby true story.
IS RESCUED BY RUBY BASED ON A TRUE STORY?
Yes. Rescued by Ruby tells the true story of Rhode Island State Police Cpl. Daniel O’Neil and his canine partner, Ruby, an Australian shepherd and border collie mix who was returned to the shelter five times before finding her forever home with O’Neil—and eventually helping him save a young boy’s life.
WHAT IS THE RESCUED BY RUBY TRUE STORY?
According to a recent article in the Miami Herald, Rhode Island State Police Cpl. Daniel O’Neil, who is now 41, adopted an eight-month-old puppy named Ruby from a rescue shelter in 2011. Ruby, part Australian shepherd and part border collie, had already been adopted five times—only to be returned because of behavioral issues.
Patricia Inman, a shelter volunteer and animal trainer who told the Miami Herald she stopped Ruby from being euthanized more than once, the dog was “a total knucklehead,” always moving, squirming, and straining at her leash. Then O’Neil, who was in need of a search-and-rescue dog, adopted her and trained her as a police K-9.
“They said that she was unmanageable, and they were actually going to put her down at the SPCA just because they couldn’t find a home for her,” O’Neil said in a separate interview with NBC 10 News. But O’Neil worked with Ruby, bonded with her, and, amazingly, six years later Ruby saved a life.
In October 2017, a teenage boy got lost in the woods while hiking and was missing for over 36 hours. On the search-and-rescue mission that ensued, it was Ruby who found the teenager, who was unconscious and in need of immediate medical attention—but alive. And here’s the real twist: That boy was the son of Patricia Inman, the shelter volunteer who initially vouched for Ruby.
“She saved a life because she was given life,” O’Neil told NBC 10. “It was a ‘thank you’ to the Rhode Island SPCA and the state police for not giving up on her.”
For her heroic efforts, Ruby was named the 2018 “Search and Rescue Dog of the Year” by the American Humane Hero Dog organization. And now, Netflix’s Rescued by Ruby will tell their story, with Grant Gustin—best known for starring as Barry Allen on the CW series The Flash—starring as O’Neil.
“My kids are very big fans of him and they love the show,” O’Neil told NBC 10. “For him to wear my badge number and take my name is awesome.”
WHERE IS DANIEL O’NEIL AND RUBY FROM RESCUED BY RUBY NOW?
O’Neil now oversees an 18-dog K-9 unit at the Rhode Island State Police, and he and Ruby are still working together after 11 years. They have teamed on many successful search-and-rescues and helped to convict two murderers, according to the Herald. She’s still occasionally causing trouble—three years ago, she ran away, prompting a 19-hour search for her that eventually found her returned home, safe, sound, and with a live skunk in her mouth. Oh, Ruby!