Before coming to the rescue of others on the silver screen, Ginger, the Spa City’s newest celebrity, had to be saved herself.

The spunky Irish terrier and star of the film “Firehouse Dog” became a famous rescue dog only after she received a second chance at life as a puppy.

Now, after months of acting lessons in Hollywood and filming in Toronto, the 4-year-old diva has retired in Nan Sullivan’s home near Saratoga Race Course as the movie hits theaters.

Hey, it’s a tough life, but some pampered pooch has to live it.

“This is rags to riches,” said Sullivan, who adopted Ginger on Sept. 2. “This is the girl from the other side of the tracks made good.”

Sullivan connected with Ginger through her summertime neighbor, Nikki Rowe, whose son, Devon Evans, is a Hollywood dog trainer.

“I waited a year for her while she was having her fame,” said Sullivan, the owner of a cleaning business.

Sulivan tells how Ginger went from being a hungry and neglected pup to a movie poster model.

Sullivan says the bouncy terrier was bred in a Missouri “puppy mill” before being sold to a pet store, then a family in California. But the family split up, and Ginger was left outdoors, sometimes unfed and without care.

Eventually, a neighbor rescued her from the yard, and with the owner’s permission, placed her with a breeder of terriers.

Meanwhile, the directors of “Firehouse Dog” were searching for an Irish terrier to play the role of “Rex,” a male dog, who, appropriately, gets lost, rescued and revived.

Boone’s Animals for Hollywood, an animal talent search company, discovered Ginger for the part.

Ginger is a wiry creature with a moist nose and a penchant for love. She’s highly intelligent, very active and has a loud bark. If Ginger was a human actress, you would probably have already seen or read about her against-the-odds success story in some glossy movie star magazine.

Her cinema training taught her tricks, including how to beg perfectly on two hind legs, stop, drop and roll, play dead and assume a commando-type position on her belly. All moves are ordered by hand signals and encouraged through dog treats.

But Sullivan didn’t adopt Ginger for her glamorous good looks or the number of stunts she can perform. Hollywood is famous for chewing and spitting out past stars, and Sullivan simply wanted to make sure Ginger had a proper place to live after movieland was through with her.

“She’s a rescue dog. That’s the most important thing,” Sullivan said.

In “Firehouse Dog,” a fire department takes Rex in, and the dog starts becoming part of the team, even responding to emergencies with crews.

“She was great. The dogs were great,” says Sullivan, whose red hair roughly matches that of her famous pet. “More dogs, less actors would have been terrific.”

The public can meet Ginger at the Maple Avenue Fire Company from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. The day will combine fire safety education with finding homes for orphaned pets, one of Sullivan’s life passions.

“Ginger’s a regular dog. She needs food. She needs water. She needs exercise. She needs lots of love,” Sullivan said.