Plant City man’s beloved dog may have vanished during attempted burglary

Victor Iracheta is searching for his dog Diesel.
Victor Iracheta and his dog Diesel, who is missing.
Victor Iracheta and his dog Diesel, who is missing.

PLANT CITY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Plant City man is desperately searching for his dog after the pup mysteriously vanished more than a week ago. The family and police suspect foul play and believe the dog may have stopped a would-be burglar from entering their home.

Victor Iracheta and his family returned to his Plant City home after church last week and noticed the door was open.

Before the family made it inside, they noticed other things weren’t right, including a large flowerpot outside was knocked over, and his wife noticed some spots of blood.

“I’m thinking there was obviously a struggle or something,” Iracheta said. “So I go to check inside and the door is unlocked. That’s when I start suspecting things.”

When Iracheta went inside he noticed a few more spots of blood and realized his 1-year-old Pitbull named Diesel was missing.

“It’s a void missing. People think it’s just a dog, you can replace him. Yeah, you can replace a dog, but there’s memories that you shared with them. It’s like a little son to me,” he said.

So what happened to Diesel?

“I believe somebody tried to come in, but they weren’t expecting the dog behind the door. I believe Diesel protected our home,” Iracheta said.

Plant City police are investigating and also believe the dog may have stopped someone from going in the home.

“Possibly the dog was defending his home. What happened to the dog after we don’t know, but again that’s just speculation on my part,” said Plant City Police Department Sgt. Al Van Duyne.

“We notified our area hospitals to be on the lookout for a subject who would have dog injuries, we also had several officers canvas the area for the dog or the subject,” said Sgt. Van Duyne.

Still, no sign of Diesel.

“I’ve gone to local dog rescues, Facebook, Pitbull lovers, everything you can find, I’ve searched, me and my wife. No luck so far,” said Iracheta. “I believe somebody either has him, or he’s hurt or injured somewhere. We just want someone to bring him back home.”

The dog went missing near North Wilder Road in Plant City. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Plant City Police Department at (813) 757-9200. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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