HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Timothy Kauffmann is a hero. He tells 8 On Your Side he was driving along Clay Pit Road in Hillsborough County one day in late June when he saw a puppy being tossed out of a car.

“They seem like they waited until the dog got in front of me and they threw it in front of my car, trying to get me to hit it. So, I had to slam on my breaks. I was more scared for the dog than anything,” said Kauffmann.  

From there, Kauffmann was able to get the dog out of traffic and into his car. After taking the pup to his home, feeding and watering the animal, he called 4 Lucky Dogs Pet Rescue. 

The nonprofit told 8 On Your Side the dog, who was later named Nova to symbolize new beginnings, had been microchipped. That piece of evidence led them to uncover her former owner’s sinister intentions. 

“When we called the chip company on it, they gave us the information and when it was later investigated by an animal control officer, they told me the dog had been reported as deceased the night before it was dropped on the road. So basically, they had anticipated the dog dying,” Maureen Shaw with 4 Lucky Dogs Pet Rescue said.

According to Hillsborough County Pet Resources, Nova’s former owner was cited for animal cruelty. Additionally, Hillsborough County Pet Resources has petitioned the court to have the owner enjoined, which would mean he would not be allowed to own a pet in the county. The court has not yet ruled on the enjoinment request.

Nova is living with one of the pet rescues foster families while a search for her permanent home is underway. 

“She’s full of energy. She’s a great dog. As fosters, we hope whoever adopts these dogs that there is training involved and that they have to learn to love you too,” said Chuck Morton, Nova’s foster dad.  

4 Lucky Dogs Pet Rescue is also looking to repay Kauffmann for his kindness. 

“He just lost his job and we are hoping that, because he did such a good deed for this dog and saved her life, that someone out there will see this and decide they could use a man like him on their team,” said Robin Marsh with 4 Lucky Dogs Pet Rescue. 

She tells 8 On Your Side Kauffmann is a new father and specializes in welding as well as several other fields.

For more information on Nova, Kauffmann or just to learn more about support services for animals, visit 4 Lucky Dogs Pet Rescue’s website