Missing therapy pets of the collapsed Florida tower collapse

NEWS AND VIEWS: You must have heard about the dramatic and tragic collapse of the apartment building called Champlain Towers South Condo near Miami beach. Several days ago, the news said that there were 159 people missing but as the days go by we expect more and more victims to be discovered of which there are currently 11 at the latest report. So currently we know that 11 people have died and there will be more. It happened at night when people were asleep.

Mia a cat missing from the Florida tower collapse
Mia a cat missing from the Florida tower collapse. Photo: Alvarez.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The management of this apartment block allow therapy pets which must include cats and dogs. We are not told how many therapy pets lived in the block. Stories are emerging of missing pets. For example, Susana Alvarez said that she wished she had run back to collect her cat, Mia, as she raced out of the apartment building. There must’ve been some sort of warning for her to be able to escape.

She said that she thought the building was being bombed and that she was terrified but she now regrets not going back to collect her cat. She said: “If I hadn’t been so scared, in hindsight, I would have gone back in to get her, but I was terrified.”

Champlain South Surfside Building Collapse. The building.
Champlain South Surfside Building Collapse. The building. Photo: BBC.

Mia was a four-year-old, 10-pound, grey striped tabby cat. I’ve used the past tense because I feel I have to. They are not going to find anybody or any animal alive in that squashed mass of concrete which is incredibly sad. It is a question of how many where in the building when it collapsed. How many more escaped?

A Facebook page has been set up providing support and allowing people to communicate between themselves in order to self-help. It’s called the: Champlain South Surfside Building Collapse, Rescue and Resources. If you click on the link will be taken to the page. Note: links like this eventually stop working over time. If it is broken, I apologise.

Another report regarding a therapy cat has emerged. A black-and-white cat named Coco is also missing. Berkowitz of the Friends of Miami Animals Foundation in an interview with the New York Post said that there are a number of families who are yet to be reunited with their pets. Multiple sweeps have been made of the building by rescue crews with, as I understand it, no signs of life.

Berkowitz said that as is usual under these circumstances, humans take priority and that: “They are not going to be airlifting dogs and cats when there are people that may be alive under the debris.”

Well, I disagree with her because if rescue teams are going through the rubble, they going to be looking for any signs of life whether it is from an animal or a person. They’re not going to discover an animal that might be alive and then just ignore the animal and move onto the next stage. They are going to rescue that animal and then move onto the next stage. It is not a question of picking and choosing who you’re going to rescue from this pile of rubble. You’re going to rescue any creature human or animal which is alive. That’s my little rant for the day.

The New York Post says that if a resident is looking for their pet, it is recommended that they reach out directly to the ‘Family Center’. I don’t know what that is but I’m reporting on it in case somebody reads this.

Alvarez is still looking and she said that she goes every day that the command centre to talk about her lost cat with as many people as possible to make sure that they know that she is there. Alvarez said: “If Mia has to die, let it be smoke and not hunger.”

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