While escaping the Sunrise collapse in the Champlain Towers of South Florida, some residents had to do what they never imagined doing: leave pets behind.
And, now that the rest of the building will be demolished by Controlled Demolitions, Inc., residents are worried about their pets.
“Many in the community have raised this concern,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “I want to point out that search and rescue conducted three separate searches, one primary, one secondary and one tertiary. And, they didn’t find any animals. I was informed this morning that they had scanned with cameras and had not found any animals yet. “
Firefighters removed a fourth-floor family’s dog, Rigatoni, along with mother and daughter on June 24, in the first hours after the collapse. When someone saw their cat, Coco, on the balcony, the firefighters used a lifting platform to leave food and water on the balcony.
But, when it comes to the more in-depth pet search, the same instability that requires the rest of the South Tower to be demolished makes a pet hunt with boots in the field impractical.
“I have also been in contact with the contractor and have indicated the location of the animals that have been given to me and that may be in the building,” said Levine Cava. “They are aware and are doing whatever they can do just to do additional research. But I want to be very clear that they would not do it there because they will not be able to enter these units.
“It is not safe for anyone to go beyond the first floor.”
Levine Cava said that as a pet owner, she understands that many people think of pets as family.
“I just want you to know that extra efforts have been and are being made.”
Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said he heard about pet issues in person and knew Levine Cava had sent out several emails regarding pets.
“His compassion on this matter is appreciated,” Burkett said. “While there are some who probably aren’t as focused on it, she does focus on the little details. This is what makes her a great mayor. “