Middle School Teacher Nabs Award for Saving Puppy Dumped in Lake

PETA Honors Rescuer—and Offers Reward for Information About Culprit(s) Who Abandoned Burned Dog in a Crate in Freezing Water

For Immediate Release:
November 7, 2019

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Champaign, Ill. – A Compassionate Action Award is on the way from PETA to teacher Bryant Fritz, who jumped into the freezing waters of Kaufman Lake on Saturday to save a puppy who had been dumped there in a crate.

Fritz quickly realized that the dog, since named Dory, was in grave danger from hypothermia and from burn wounds across her body. He ran with her to his truck and took her to the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, where she’s recovering from her injuries—and once she’s healed, he intends to adopt her.

The Champaign Police Department is actively investigating the incident but has yet to make an arrest, prompting PETA to offer a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction on cruelty-to-animals charges of the person(s) responsible for these crimes.

Dory is believed to be a small pit bull mix, approximately 6 to 8 months old, and had no collar or microchip. It’s unclear how she was burned.

“One kind person stood between this little dog and a lonely, terrifying death in the freezing waters of Kaufman Lake,” says PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “PETA wishes this pup a long and happy life in the care of her rescuer—and urges anyone with information about this case to speak up so that whoever burned and abandoned her can be held accountable and stopped from hurting anyone else.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. The group encourages everyone to take action whenever an animal is in danger and offers tips for reporting cruelty to animals on its website.

Fritz will receive a framed certificate and a box of delicious vegan cookies.

Anyone with information about this case should contact the Champaign Police Department at 217-351-4545.

For more information about helping animals, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind