Pet owners frantic over their missing animals in Florida tower collapse

SURFSIDE, Fla. — Pet owners who survived final week’s condo-tower collapse are determined to search out their animal buddies nonetheless missing in the rubble.

“I’m alone — I’ve no person,’’ mentioned Susana Alvarez, who left behind her beloved cat Mia as she ran to security from her residence in Champlain Towers South Condo close to Miami Beach earlier than the constructing collapsed Thursday.

“I thought we were being bombed,’’ Alvarez, 62, told The Post on Monday. “If I hadn’t been so scared, in hindsight, I would have gone back in to get her, but I was terrified.”

The cat proprietor and one other resident mentioned the constructing solely allowed remedy pets. Alvarez mentioned her 4-year-old, 10-pound, gray-striped feline was registered as an emotional-support animal.

It is unclear what number of Champlain residents had pets. But an area animal group mentioned it’s providing assist to any owners, as anxious Facebook customers additionally urged individuals to share their tales on social media and let authorities know if their nonhuman associates are missing.

Officials report the death toll of the Champlain Towers South has reached at least 11 people.
Officials report the demise toll of the Champlain Towers South has reached not less than 11 individuals.
AP

“It will be terrible for people who lost everything to lose their pets, too,” mentioned Yolanda Berkowitz of the Friends of Miami Animals Foundation to The Post.

In addition to noting Alvarez’s misplaced cat, Berkowitz mentioned a black and white feline named Coco is missing.

Coco is another cat that has gone missing after the building collapse.
Coco is one other cat that has gone missing after the constructing collapse.

“There are a number of families we know who have not been reunited with their pets and we are working to identify others,” Berkowitz added in an e-mail.

“Any individuals displaced by this tragedy in want of boarding, medical help, or anything their pet might have throughout this time can contact us at data@fomapets.org for help.

“Miami-Dade Animal Services is also on stand-by with resources at the ready to serve our community’s pets and their owners,” she mentioned.

Berkowitz instructed The Post that for now, the search-and-rescue operation is targeted on discovering human survivors and stabilizing the situation and retaining first-responders secure.

“They are not going to be airlifting dogs and cats when there are people that may be alive under the debris,” Berkowitz mentioned.

A Facebook user also worried about missing pets wrote in a post, “Hey all, I created a bunch web page to help the residents and households of these impacted by the collapse. People have animals missing and others who need to assist.

“If you will have any updates or requests or recommendation to those that need to assist please share them.’’

Alvarez is missing her four-year old cat, a registered emotional-support animal.
Alvarez is missing her four-year previous cat, a registered emotional-support animal.
Susana Alvarez

Another person mentioned she had spoken to an “animal advocate on location’’ who was suggested by the native police division to inform individuals, “If you’re a resident on the towers and have a pet left behind please it is suggested you attain out on to the Family Center.

“Pet owners should register their pets as missing in order for rescue efforts to take in all particulars in order to raised help you,’’ the person wrote.

In addition to the missing cats, a canine named Edgar is also among the many pets unaccounted for, in response to one other publish.

The pooch belonged to the household of Angela Gonzalez, a mom who pulled herself and her teenage daughter from the rubble after the pair plunged 4 flooring in the tower’s collapse.

“With a damaged pelvis, Angie discovered and pulled her 16 daughter from the rubble, the household canine didn’t make it and Edgar, her husband continues to be missing,’’ a family friend wrote.

A guinea pig additionally was apparently misplaced in the rubble alongside together with her feminine proprietor and the girl’s husband.

Nicole Langsfeld, the small creature’s proprietor, and her husband, Luis Sadovnic, have been missing.

Langsfeld’s family members had gone to the scene of the tragedy Sunday and called her name, desperately hoping she would possibly hear them.

“She was funny and smart and loved animals — all sorts of animals,” Langsfeld’s uncle mentioned, according to a tweet by a CNN reporter.

“She would have moved an elephant into that condo if she could.”

The reporter added in another tweet, “Nicole had a puppy, Zoe, and a guinea pig. Luckily, her pup was with her brother that day and is safe and unharmed. The family doesn’t know where her guinea pig is.”

Meanwhile, Alvarez mentioned she plans to get as close to to the constructing as she will and name for her beloved Mia in the hopes that “she can jump out of the rubble.”

“Mia was my companion at home. I used to talk to her. … She slept with me every night,” the heartbroken pet proprietor mentioned.

“My cat is terrified of her own shadow. … If the smoke didn’t kill her, I would say she is under my bed terrified right now.”

Alvarez added, “I am going on daily basis to the command middle to speak about her with as many individuals as potential so individuals don’t overlook that she’s there, to maintain her dialog going.

“I understand the magnitude of what has happened. My mother’s best friend’s body is in there. I understand how people feel, they want their loved ones found.”

But “I got very emotional on Saturday when the whole building was covered with smoke,” Alvarez mentioned. “If [Mia] has to die, let it be smoke and not hunger.”

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