A sudden Champaign celebrity has become a national sensation. And he’s now gone viral.
Middle school teacher Bryant Fritz made news recently when, while fishing at Kaufman Lake in Champaign, he discovered a dog floating in a cage.
He waded through waist-high freezing water to rescue the dog, a small black and white puppy now named Dory.
The dog received immediate care at the University of Illinois veterinary teaching hospital and is doing well. Fritz has said plans are in the works for him to adopt the animal. Meanwhile, the Champaign Police Department is searching for the person who placed the dog in the lake, opening an active investigation into animal cruelty.
The story gained national attention, including a story in People magazine, which landed Fritz a spot on the ‘Ellen’ show. (Host Ellen DeGeneres, you might recall, provided the voice for Dory in the popular Disney/Pixar movies starring the animated fish.)
Fritz made the most of the appearance, in which he was joined by his longtime girlfriend, Krystal. They will soon become husband and wife — Fritz proposed at the end of the segment.
(Warning: multiple tissues needed.)
This is not the first time Ellen has made big news in Champaign-Urbana: anyone remember the time her show was on the Quad?
(Note: she’s welcome anytime.)