An Illinois man has adopted a dog that he rescued from a cage thrown heartlessly into a frozen lake, giving the pup a new forever home after a heartbreaking case of abandonment.
Bryant Fritz was out fishing on Kaufman Lake in Champaign, Illinois, this past November when he spotted a dog half immersed in the frigid waters, trapped in a cage and unable to get to warmth or safety.
Fritz jumped into the water to pull the cage and the dog out, stripping off his own sweater and dashing to bring the dog to some place warm.
“I thought about calling someone but I didn’t think she had an extra five or 10 minutes,” he said. “I just didn’t know.”
After getting the dog into his car and wrapping her up in blankets, he brought her to an animal hospital, where she was treated for hypothermia and wounds that appeared to have been inflicted before she was ever trapped in the cage. She was so cold when she was brought in, even after sitting in Fritz’s car bundled up in blankets, that it was impossible to get a temperature reading for her until she’d started to thaw.
Fritz fell in love with the dog, but he wasn’t able to see her again immediately. A police investigation was launched regarding the abuse she had evidently suffered, so she remained with animal control for the duration of the investigation.
But Fritz, who is a middle school teacher, explained to local news that his dog had died recently and he felt that the rescue of the tiny frozen pup was “anything but chance.”
“We are first ones on the list,” he said, reiterating just how much he hoped to be able to help out the furry friend he’d encountered so coincidentally.
As soon as the investigation wrapped up, he pushed to be permitted to adopt her—and sure enough, before long, Dory, as she was named, was home with him and ready to be loved.
In the aftermath of her rescue, Dory has even been given her own Instagram account, where Fritz posts updates on the sweet dog as she acclimates and discovers what it’s like to be a happy, healthy four-legged friend.
“Last time I rode shotgun in dad’s truck we were leaving the lake. I couldn’t stand. My eyes were shut. I was shaking really bad. Look at me now! Woof!” one caption reads.
Fritz hopes that her rescue will help to raise awareness for shelters and other rescue organizations, he told The Epoch Times. “It’s a pretty incredible story,” he said, explaining that her viral rescue has already helped to raise around $120,000 to help organizations that ensure dogs just like Dory can be given second chances.
Dory still has some scars on her sides from the injuries she had incurred prior to her rescue. But from all of her pictures with Fritz, it’s clear that she’s all smiles now—and living a very different kind of life from the one that left her shivering and close to death out on a lake that day.