HILLSBOROUGH Co., Fla — It's a heartwarming ending for a dog found shot and left for dead in Hillsborough County.
Behind a flash of camera lights at the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center, man's best friend reunites with her hero.
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Master Corporal Shawn Helmer named the dog for her demeanor.
"She's just sweet and cuddly so cupcake kind of seemed fitting," he said.
But it's the human having a hard time.
"She's looking better, we'll get her there," he said petting Cupcake and sniffling.
Cupcake may not be here today if it weren't for Helmer. He was off-duty when his neighbor's kids told him a dog was crying for help. He found her in a ditch by a strawberry field and more heart-wrenching, discovered someone shot her.
Today Cupcake is ready for a new home but Helmer already has a full house with three dogs. But before she can be adopted she first has to get surgery because a bullet is still lodged inside her.
Cupcake can barely walk with a fractured leg. She's got no chip, no tag and investigators haven't found her owners yet. They're working to figure out who did this. Animal Services is handling the investigation and the bullet will be evidence they hope will lead them to answers.
Don't worry this story has a happy ending.
"When something like this happens, you just can't wrap your arms-- your heart and your brain around an action like this," said Deputy Cindy Rodriguez of HCSO.
Cindy and her husband, Sam, are Cupcake's soon-to-be parents. The two are deputies and Helmer's co-workers.
The Rodriguez's are already in love. The dog's name might be here to stay.
"We thought about changing the name and then we thought-- you know what?-- Cupcake is starting to grow on us," said Deputy Sam Rodriguez.