PALM HARBOR (FOX 13) - A soon-to-be fire dog in Palm Harbor had a will to live after surviving a deadly house fire in Georgia.
Ruby was a few months old when she was injured inside a home in Blakey, Georgia. The fire took the life of her owner and of another dog, according to Palm Harbor Fire Rescue. Firefighters in Georgia searched for her at the time, but couldn't find her. They assumed the worse.
Nearly two days later, residents returned to go through their burnt belongings. Among the home's remains, Ruby emerged. She was rushed to the nearby emergency veterinarian for her third-degree burns. It's believed she ran through the fire to escape.
Ruby continued her care at an Alabama rescue group, before arriving at Suncoast Animal League in Palm Harbor. That's where she has been for the last few months, along with her foster mom, Karey. Palm Harbor firefighters were eager to meet her, and it was apparently love at first sight.
On September 12, Palm Harbor Fire Rescue officially adopted Ruby. She will be sworn in during a ceremony on October 12, and receive her own fire department badge. Officials said they believe she will be able to help with educating the public on fire prevention and safety from Station 65.
"She already knows how to stop, drop and roll and we've been teaching her to crawl low under smoke," explained department spokesperson Elizabeth Graham. "She's a part of the family now and I can't wait to see how many lives she will touch, she's a survivor."
"I actually think it is pretty amazing. I think it is going to be good for our department and everyone at the station," offered Tyrell Platt, a Station 65 firefighter and paramedic.
Platt is one of Ruby's trainers on the A shift and is looking forward to having her around. He thinks Ruby will help boost morale and make some of those hard workdays easier.
"We do go through a lot; you know we see a lot of things. As a shift, as a department, having a dog around, if you are having a low day or something, the dog is always going to be there, always be loving. The dog has no negative. So I definitely think it is going to be good for the department and people individually," he added.
Monetary donations to support Ruby are being collected at Station 65, located at 250 West Lake Road. It will support her care, medical bills and funding for a large fenced-in area for her to train in.