Pet owners desperate over their missing animals in Florida tower collapse

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SURFSIDE, Fla. — Pet owners who survived last week’s condo-tower collapse are desperate to find their animal buddies still missing in the rubble.

“I am alone — I have nobody,’’ said Susana Alvarez, who left behind her beloved cat Mia as she ran to safety from her apartment in Champlain Towers South Condo near Miami Beach before the building collapsed Thursday.

“I thought we were being bombed,’’ Alvarez, 62, told The Post on Monday. “If I hadn’t been so scared, in hindsight, I would have gone back in to get her, but I was terrified.”

The cat owner and another resident said the building only allowed therapy pets. Alvarez said her 4-year-old, 10-pound, gray-striped feline was registered as an emotional-support animal.

It is unclear how many Champlain residents had pets. But a local animal organization said it is offering help to any owners, as worried Facebook users also urged people to share their tales on social media and let authorities know if their nonhuman friends are missing.

“It will be terrible for people who lost everything to lose their pets, too,” said Yolanda Berkowitz of the Friends of Miami Animals Foundation to The Post.

In addition to noting Alvarez’s lost cat, Berkowitz said a black and white feline named Coco is missing.

“There are a number of families we know who have not been reunited with their pets and we are working to identify others,” Berkowitz added in an e-mail.

“Any persons displaced by this tragedy in need of boarding, medical assistance, or anything else their pet may need during this time can contact us at [email protected] for assistance.

“Miami-Dade Animal Services is also on stand-by with resources at the ready to serve our community’s pets and their owners,” she said.

Berkowitz told The Post that for now, the search-and-rescue operation is focused on finding human survivors and stabilizing the location and keeping first-responders safe.

“They are not going to be airlifting dogs and cats when there are people that may be alive under the debris,” Berkowitz said.

A Facebook user also worried about missing pets wrote in a post, “Hey all, I created a group page to support the residents and families of those impacted by the collapse. People have animals missing and others who want to help.

“If you have any updates or requests or advice to those who want to help please share them.’’

Another user said she had spoken to an “animal advocate on location’’ who was advised by the local police department to tell people, “If you are a resident at the towers and have a pet left behind please it is recommended you reach out directly to the Family Center.

“Pet owners must register their pets as missing in order for rescue efforts to take in all details in order to better assist you,’’ the person wrote.

In addition to the missing cats, a dog named Edgar also is among the pets unaccounted for, according to another post.

The pooch belonged to the family of Angela Gonzalez, a mom who pulled herself and her teenage daughter from the rubble after the pair plunged four floors in the tower’s collapse.

“With a broken pelvis, Angie found and pulled her 16 daughter from the rubble, the family dog did not make it and Edgar, her husband is still missing,’’ a family friend wrote.

A guinea pig also was apparently lost in the rubble along with her female owner and the woman’s husband.

Nicole Langsfeld, the small creature’s owner, and her husband, Luis Sadovnic, were missing.

Langsfeld’s relatives had gone to the scene of the tragedy Sunday and called her name, desperately hoping she might hear them.

“She was funny and smart and loved animals — all sorts of animals,” Langsfeld’s uncle said, according to a tweet by a CNN reporter.

“She would have moved an elephant into that condo if she could.”

The reporter added in another tweet, “Nicole had a puppy, Zoe, and a guinea pig. Luckily, her pup was with her brother that day and is safe and unharmed. The family doesn’t know where her guinea pig is.”

Meanwhile, Alvarez said she plans to get as near to the building as she can and call for her beloved Mia in the hopes that “she can jump out of the rubble.”

“Mia was my companion at home. I used to talk to her. … She slept with me every night,” the heartbroken pet owner said.

“My cat is terrified of her own shadow. … If the smoke didn’t kill her, I would say she is under my bed terrified right now.”

Alvarez added, “I go every day to the command center to talk about her with as many people as possible so people don’t forget that she’s there, to keep her conversation going.

“I understand the magnitude of what has happened. My mother’s best friend’s body is in there. I understand how people feel, they want their loved ones found.”

But “I got very emotional on Saturday when the whole building was covered with smoke,” Alvarez said. “If [Mia] has to die, let it be smoke and not hunger.”

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