A Florida man who narrowly avoided driving into a dog that was thrown from another car and into his lane of traffic has been branded a “superhero” for rescuing the pup.
Timothy Kauffmann, of Tampa, was driving on Clay Pit Road in Hillsborough County last month when a motorist in front of him opened the door, hurled the dog out and sped off. Kauffmann told WFLA he believed the former owner’s intention was to kill the 7-month-old animal.
“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 brakes. I was more scared for the dog than anything,” he said. Kauffmann recovered the pup and brought her home.
The good Samaritan contacted a pet rescue non-profit called 4 Lucky Dogs, which immediately helped to place the dog into the care of a foster family. The team, which re-named the dog Nova, meaning “new beginnings,” believe she is a schnauzer/wire hair terrier mix.
An update posted by the rescue organization this month revealed an animal control officer found Nova had been micro-chipped, meaning the previous owner was identified and located.
It emerged that the former owner, who has not been named, had contacted the vet’s office and reported that Nova had died the day before she was tossed from the vehicle. An investigation is ongoing, being spearheaded by the Hillsborough County Animal Control. 4 Lucky Dogs said in a Facebook post on July 7 that it will petition for the owner to be banned from having pets.
“The dog had been reported as deceased the night before it was dropped on the road. Basically, they had anticipated the dog dying,” pet rescue team member Maureen Shaw told WFLA. According to 4 Lucky Dogs, the ex-owner was issued with a citation for animal cruelty.
A hunt for a permanent new home for Nova is now underway, according to an adoption appeal posted online. “Her spirit has not been broken. Her foster mom and dad say she loves other dogs, loves water, is very playful and is a pro snuggler,” read a description of the dog.
“Justice will prevail in her case,” 4 Lucky Dogs Pet Rescue noted on Facebook, alongside several new images of the black-and-white pup. “We will not publish any further details of the case as the investigation is ongoing, but will update upon closure.”
The man who is currently fostering Nova, Chuck Morton, told WFLA: “This is just proof that bad things can have a really good ending.” He noted: “She’s full of energy. She’s a great dog.”