By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Miami-Dade County judge denied an attorney’s emergency motion late Sunday night to delay the planned demolition of the remaining Champlain Towers South in order to retrieve a beloved pet believed to still be in the building despite officials saying no animals were located following an intense search.

The pet owner did not attend the hearing because she was at the site in Surfside still trying to get the animal out of the building, according to attorney Paula Phillips.

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Phillips petitioned the court on behalf of her client who wanted to enter the building to get a pet prior to the demolition. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman denied the request but also commended her for trying to intervene for her client.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Sunday, prior to the demolition, that she had made it “a priority since Day 1 to do absolutely everything possible to search for every animal.”  She explained fire rescue crews did three full sweeps, including searching in closets and under beds and in unsafe areas. In addition to setting live traps, first responders also used cameras and drones with thermal imaging. After all those measures, they did not find any pets.

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“Those who were forced to evacuate the remaining portion of the building left their entire lives behind,” Levine Cava said. “We know that. And we’re deeply, deeply concerned and empathetic to how extraordinarily difficult this time is for them and their families.”

Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz also addressed the concerns people had about the pets.

“So I appreciate, and I’ve had outreach myself from constituents about the concern over the possibility of pets being left in the building. And I can reassure those that are concerned that the utmost of care and painstaking attention has been made to make sure that not only multiple sweeps were done, but also that they used every possible technology from the most rudimentary to the most sophisticated to try to make sure that there were no pets that were able to be rescued in the building.”

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