A Miami woman was denied a request to rescue a stranded pet from the Champlain Towers South condominium complex shortly before it was demolished.
Attorney Paula Phillips petitioned the court Sunday night to allow her client, Stacey Karron, to go into the building to retrieve a cat before the demolition was started, according to the Miami Herald.
“They understand the risk,” Phillips reportedly said. “They understand the building can come down at any time.”
#BREAKING:Remainder of Champlain Tower South building has been demolished. pic.twitter.com/jvom1ctBkA
— WSVN 7 News (@wsvn) July 5, 2021
Judge Michael Hanzman, however, denied the request. (RELATED: Woman Trapped In Rubble Begged To Be Saved For ’10 To 11 Hours’ After Condo Collapse)
“Despite these Herculean efforts and the tireless, daunting work that has been done, there is going to be loss of life here,” Hanzman reportedly said. “Loss of human life and animal life.”
Miami-Dade County Attorney Dave Murray also opposed letting Karron back into the building.
“This is not a case where the county has sat on their hands,” Murray said, noting the building was wired with explosives making Karron’s rescue mission dangerous for her and rescue crews who would have to risk their lives by checking the explosives, according to the report.
Karron, a paralegal and volunteer animal rescuer, said she wanted to rescue any pets who were left behind in the building.
“My goal was just to go down there and try and rescue any pets if I was allowed,” Karron told the Miami Herald. “I have experience with animal rescue and I volunteered to go in.”
It is unclear who the emotional support cat belonged to, but the Miami Herald suspects the cat may have been Coco who lived on the fourth floor. Firefighters had initially been unable to rescue Coco the night of the accident while evacuating residents, but later returned to the apartment with a cherry picker to leave food and water for the pet, according to the Miami Herald.