Fans of New Hampshire Fish and Game’s K-9 officer Ruby are sending condolences after the agency announced the dog’s death.

Ruby, an 8-year-old black Lab, joined the department in 2012, partnering with Lt. Bill Boudreau. The two patrolled the southwest region of the state, and Ruby was a popular feature on the Animal Planet television show, “North Woods Law.”

But Ruby became ill a few months ago, losing weight and muscle mass, Fish and Game said in a news release on Friday. She underwent tests and medical treatments but did not recover.

“Although a strong fighter, Ruby reached a point where she was suffering and in pain and a decision ultimately had to be made,” the release said. “Lt. Boudreau and his family were left with no choice and they made the difficult, but correct, decision to have Ruby put to sleep.”

Ruby and Boudreau were nationally certified in fish and wildlife detection, human tracking, and evidence and article detection. The dog was best known for her ability to track and find people, Fish and Game said.

“Ruby made several recoveries for us during challenging search and rescue missions and I am not sure those victims would have been located in time without her assistance,” said Col. Kevin Jordan, chief of law enforcement at Fish and Game. “While we will dearly miss this team’s skills and abilities, it is little Ruby’s personality and energy level we will miss the most here at Fish and Game. She was loved by all who met her.”

The announcement of Ruby’s death was met with expressions of sorrow and sympathy from the public on social media. “Run free at the rainbow bridge K9 Ruby,” one person wrote.

“Sorry to hear this,” another posted. “They all serve and have no idea how important they are. Ruby is now free to play and roam. Thank you for your service.”

Fish and Game announced that condolence messages may be sent to: Lt. Boudreau, NH Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive Concord, NH 03301 or

Donations in Ruby’s memory may be made to: K-9 Ruby Memorial Fund, Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire, P.O. Box 3993, Concord, NH 03302.

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