Resident Who Survived Surfside Condo Collapse Fought to Look for Pet Before Remaining Building Was Demolished
In an emergency court hearing, attorney Paula Phillips argued that her client should have been allowed to go inside the still-standing portion of the Florida towers to look for any pets left behind in the mad rush to flee. The motion was denied.
The search for human remains continues in the rubble of Champlain Towers near Miami. The rest of the building was demolished Sunday night for safety reasons — another heartbreak for residents whose pets were left behind in the rush to evacuate.
Coco, a black and white tuxedo cat, was left behind after her 89-year-old owner was pulled to safety from her fourth floor apartment. Mia, another cat, had been lying at the feet of her owner on the 10th floor when the owner fled the collapsing building.
Deven Gonzalez, 16, also survived along with her mother, but their dog Daisy is still unaccounted for. Also missing are several pet parakeets and at least one guinea pig.
“People are outraged,” attorney Paula Phillips told Inside Edition.
In an emergency court hearing, Phillips argued that her client should have been allowed inside the still-standing portion of the towers to look for any pets left behind in the mad rush to flee.
“There’s really no reason why people shouldn’t have been able to up into targeted units, for purposes of bringing the animals and nothing else out of the building,” Phillips said.
The judge denied the motion, and the building was demolished 30 minutes later.
Search crews did everything they could to find pets that were still alive, according to Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.
“Including searching in closets, under beds and all the other places that they could to seek an animal that might have been in hiding,” Levine Cava said.
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