Heartbroken Family Races To Save Missing Dog Who Fell Overboard In Tampa Bay

Spencer, a chocolate spaniel living in Tampa Bay, loves to swim and play in the water. But the 12-year-old dog loves nothing more than playing first mate for his owner, Joaquin Diaz, as they fish around Tampa Bay.

According to The Tampa Bay Times, Diaz was driving home the boat home one night when he noticed his furry sailor was no longer on board. Spencer had always enjoyed peering over the side of the boat, but the pup also knew to lie down whenever Diaz hit the throttle. Even so, accidents happen. With a sinking heart, the 55-year-old Floridian realized Spencer must have fallen overboard without drawing his owner’s attention.

Photo: Facebook/Addison Diaz

“He’s a tremendous companion dog, always by your side,” said Diaz, who immediately organized a search party to look for his furry best friend. Rescuers spent the next three days scouring the waters and mangroves around Tampa Bay, downtown St. Petersburg, and Bahia Bay Reef, where the fisherman believes his pup likely fell overboard and got swept up in the current.

When that didn’t work, Diaz surveyed the area in a private airplane, and then led another search party by jet ski. Meanwhile, Diaz’s children posted urgent alerts about their missing pet on social media. “My heart is broken,” Diaz’s daughter, Addison Diaz, wrote on Facebook.

Photo: Facebook/Joaquin Diaz

The only thing that gives the Diaz family a sliver of hope during this trying time is that Spencer, whose family joked he was part “sea dog,” is a very strong swimmer. He was also wearing a harness and life vest with a “digital desert camouflage” pattern, which will hopefully help protect this weary pup until somebody comes to his rescue.

Article continues below

Our Featured Programs

See how we’re making a difference for People, Pets, and the Planet and how you can get involved!


Posted by Addison Diaz on Monday, July 20, 2020

If you’ve seen Spencer, or a dog fitting Spencer’s description, please contact 813-624-6790 immediately. In the meantime, please share this story with your friends and family, especially if they live in or around Tampa Bay. Let’s do our part to reunite this missing pup with his worried family!

Find out more about Spencer’s story in the video below

Help Rescue Animals

Provide food and vital supplies to shelter pets at The Animal Rescue Site for free!