CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — A fisherman jumped into Kaufman Lake to save a dog that was hurt and locked in a cage floating in the water.

Bryant Fritz saw the puppy about twenty yards off the edge of the lake.

With no one else around, he did the only thing he could think of. He dove in and waded through waist-high freezing water, then he carried the cage back to shore.

Fritz says, “I am a big dog lover, I have a dog at home. I just saw an animal in need, and I just figured that by the time that somebody else got her it would be too late. It was pretty clear when I got the dog out that it had been there for several hours.”

He put the dog in his truck and took it to the emergency clinic at the University of Illinois Veterinary Hospital. The dog had hypothermia. It was wounded and missing patches of fur.

UI Vet. Med. told WCIA that the dog is in better shape and its condition is improving.

Fritz is keeping a close eye on his new friend in hopes that when Champaign County Animal Control takes custody of the dog on Monday, they will allow him to adopt it. His dog died recently and he’s been considering getting another one. He believes this rescue was anything but chance.

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(This story was originally published on November 2, 2019)