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Rescue teams on lookout for pets in Florida building collapse

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, Florida, on July 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)
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, Florida, on July 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

MIAMI — As crews continue to search for victims within the rubble of the collapsed 12-story condominium complex near Miami, officials reassure families that they are also on the lookout for their cherished pets.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava says that at least three sweeps have been conducted, some by camera, at a portion of the complex still standing — and that no animals have been found.

“I very much understand that pets are part of people’s families,” the mayor says, noting that she, too, has been a pet owner. “My heart goes out to those who fear for their animals, and I just want you to know that additional efforts have been made and are being made.”

A flank of Champlain Tower South remains mostly intact, but officials said they would demolish the remaining structure as soon as tomorrow — ahead of incoming Tropical Storm Elsa that could put the building precariously at risk of collapsing on its own.

Cava says she informed a contractor of possible locations of missing pets. “They’re aware and doing everything that they might do just to make an additional search,” she says.

But the mayor says there won’t be a door-to-door search because it is too dangerous to do so.

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