Dogs Frantically Search Miami Building Wreckage For Signs Of Life

Written by: Molly Weinfurter
Molly Weinfurter is a writer for iHeartDogs, and she’s passionate about helping animals in need. She volunteers for Bailing Out Benji and a local dog rescue.Read more
| Published on June 28, 2021

A 12-story condominium building in the Miami, Florida area recently collapsed, leaving many families shocked and heartbroken. At least ten individuals were found dead, but over 150 are still missing. Firefighters have been searching the rubble for days, but they can’t do it alone. So, several search and rescue dogs have stepped up to sniff out life amid the destruction.

These dogs and their handlers often work 12-hour shifts, determined to save lives during this tragedy. It’s clear that these brave heroes won’t give up any time soon!

Searching Miami building destruction
Image: @browardsheriffsoffice/Facebook

No Time to Rest

As soon as was possible, dogs arrived at the scene to help. Therapy dogs are comforting the families of the victims while search and rescue dogs are sniffing through the debris. One of the many brave duos on the job is Battalion Chief Nichole Notte and her dog Dig. They’ve been working tirelessly to rescue as many victims as possible.

Notte and Dig started working only 45 minutes after the building collapsed. According to witnesses, the collapse happened suddenly, and within seconds, half the structure turned to dust. Dig helped his human search for 12 hours straight, but they knew they had to keep trying. They’ve since come back for 16-hour shifts daily, sleeping only during breaks.

Firefighter with search and rescue dog
Image: @browardsheriffsoffice/Facebook

“There is a lot of densely packed rubble making it hard for the dogs and their handlers to walk on and search through. Battalion Chief Notte and Dig continue to search, holding out hope they can find a survivor and bring them to safety,” Broward Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook.

Of course, Dig isn’t the only canine hard at work during this tragedy. Oreo is another police dog helping with the search for survivors. Firefighters are also working on using radar and sonar devices to help with the search.

Collapsed Miami building
Image: @browardsheriffsoffice/Facebook

Rescuers Stay Hopeful

The search continues for the 150 missing people. The families of these individuals have no choice but to wait for some answers, fearing the worst as they do so. Dig, Oreo, and all the other search and rescue dogs will continue to stay hopeful as they sniff the rubble. After all, there could still be more survivors.

Dog sniffing rubble for life
Image: @browardsheriffsoffice/Facebook

While officials are trying to focus on finding the survivors first, there’s some evidence for the cause of the collapse. A 2018 engineering report stated that there was major structural damage to the garage of the building. It pointed out that some of the concrete columns and walls were cracking. There was also damage to the ground-floor pool deck. Later, a 2020 study added that the building has likely been sinking since the 1990s.

This tragic accident was so unexpected that many people are still in shock. It’s estimated that about 134 people in the building have been accounted for, but over 150 remain missing. That’s why duos like Notte and Dig will continue to commit as much time as possible to save lives during this dark time.

Dog and firefighter search rubble
Image: @browardsheriffsoffice/Facebook

Featured Image: @browardsheriffsoffice/Facebook

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