Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava (D) said Saturday that search and rescue crews at the Surfside, Fla., building collapse are on the lookout for family pets amid the debris.
“I very much understand that pets are part of people’s families,” Cava said Saturday morning during a press briefing. “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.”
Contractors have been told where animals might be found, but a door-to-door search of the remaining parts of the building cannot be done for safety reasons, she said.
Parts of the Miami-area building collapsed last week, and search and rescue efforts have been ongoing since then. According to local officials, 24 human deaths have been confirmed, including four children and 20 adults.
Cava said that there have been three sweeps of the portion of the building left standing with cameras, but no animals have been located.
Dogs, cats and parrots are currently known to have inhabited the building during the collapse.
The remains of the building still standing will be torn down soon before Tropical Storm Elsa is set to hit the state.
The storm will most likely hinder search and rescue operations that have already been impeded by fires, bad weather and safety issues.