Pitbull that mysteriously vanished returns home after News Channel 8 story

Diesel has a bad injury to his leg, which may have to be amputated.
Diesel has a bad injury to his leg, which may have to be amputated.

PLANT CITY, Fla. (WFLA) – Diesel, the one year old pitbull who mysteriously disappeared from his Plant City home more than a week ago, has been found. But his journey isn’t over. Diesel is seriously injured.

“I’m sure if you ask him and he could talk, he’d say he’s been through hell and back,” Walden Lake Animal Clinic Veterinarian Dr. Larry Bailey said, and that he was likely hit by a car.

His family may never know what he went through or how it happened, but all that matters right now is they found him.

“I’m almost in tears just talking about it but I’m glad he’s back,” Diesel’s owner Victor Iracheta said. “I want to thank News Channel 8 for putting my story out, because if it wasn’t for you guys, it wouldn’t have reached as many people as it did. Now our family is whole.”

Diesel mysteriously vanished more than a week ago from his Plant City home. The family found spots of blood, a plant knocked over outside of their home, and their door opened. They believe it was signs of a struggle and that Diesel had protected his home.

Plant City police are investigating after the family called 911. “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. “But nothing came up.”

Police also believe there’s a chance 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.

Just one day after Diesel’s story aired on News Channel 8, he came limping home.

Iracheta believes someone had him. “It’s just rare that the day after the story came out the dog steps in my house. Too much of a coincidence,” he said.

He may be home but his journey is far from over. He has a bad injury to his leg.

“This will be months, not weeks. If we’re lucky enough to save the leg,” said Dr. Bailey. “They’ve elected to try and save the leg so we will clean it up and over the next several days judge the viability of that leg. If it doesn’t work, we will have to amputate the leg.”

The family is vowing to do whatever it takes to make him healthy again. Most of all, they’re thankful their beloved pup, their hero, is back in their arms. “With the help of everybody, the community, Facebook, News Channel 8, he’s back. I’m grateful,” Iracheta said.

The Iracheta family has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for Diesel’s medical expenses. 

Anyone with information about Diesel’s disappearance is asked to contact the Plant City Police Department at (813) 757-9200.

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