Woman wanted to save a pet before Miami condo building was demolished  – but a judge said no
Getty Images

A woman’s request to be able to rescue a pet from the remaining standing part of the Miami building which collapsed was denied by a judge before the building was demolished.

On 24 June, part of Miami apartment block Champlain Towers South collapsed suddenly, killing at least 24 people, with over 100 still missing.

A portion of the building remained standing but was evacuated due to serious safety concerns.

One woman filed an emergency petition to the court to save a pet who was stranded in the standing portion of the building.

Her request was denied and, an hour later, the structure was demolished with explosives as a tropical storm approached.

The Miami Herald reported that, at 9:30pm on Sunday 4 July, attorney Paula Phillips filed the request for her client Stacey Karron – an animal rescue volunteer and paralegal.

Karron wanted to enter the building to rescue the pet, which was an emotional support animal of one of the building’s residents.

The request stated she would have accepted all liability for any injury sustained in the operation.

A cat named Coco lived in a fourth-floor apartment with an 89-year-old woman and her daughter. Firefighters had previously tried to rescue the cat, but couldn’t due to it being unsafe. Instead, used a cherry picker to leave food and water for the stranded animal.

The lawyer said their client understood the risks involved, arguing: “They understand the risk. They understand the building can come down at any time.”

Their efforts were in vain, however, as Judge Michael Hanzman turned down the request.

Hanzman said: “Despite these Herculean efforts and the tireless, daunting work that has been done, there is going to be loss of life here. Loss of human life and animal life.”

He also said it was not the court’s job to question decisions made by authorities on the ground helping with the search and rescue efforts.

Miami-based attorney Dave Murray also opposed the last ditch petition, explaining that at the time the building had already been fitted with explosives for the controlled demolition and would have meant rescue workers risking their lives to check them first.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)