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A dog aiding in the search walks past a team of Israeli search and rescue personnel, left, atop the rubble at the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, Fla. on July 2, 2021. Mark Humphrey/AP
Rescue teams did three separate searches of the remaining portion of Champlain Towers South, but did not find any pets missing from the partially collapsed condominium in Surfside, Florida.
Officials provided search crews with specific locations where residents said their animals might be found, but the rescue workers came up empty, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said at a Saturday news conference.
While the focus since the June 24 collapse has been on finding survivors in the rubble of the building, several of the residents who escaped have also been hoping their animals would be recovered.
So far, 24 bodies have been pulled from the debris, with 124 people still missing. It’s not clear how many pets were left behind as people fled.
Levine Cava said pet owners would not be allowed to search themselves in the part of the building that is still standing. “They’re not going to be able to go into those units,” said said. “It’s not safe for anyone to go beyond the first floor.”
The remaining portion of the building will be demolished this weekend ahead of Tropical Storm Elsa.
“I very much understand that pets are part of people’s families,” Levine Cava said. “My heart goes out to those who fear for their animals.”