Cat Squatters at Risk of being Bulldozed in Condo Demolition
The demolition of a South Beach, FL condo scheduled for today has been postponed in order to rescue a resident cat colony.
The cats had not been evacuated, and cat lovers called for a halt on the demolition. This morning, the demolition was postponed.
Danielle Crocker headed up the effort after she learned of the planned demolition. She said she feels the temporary halt is a victory.
"I still want to cry, but they are happy tears. That buys me one more day," Crocker said.
Yesterday, Crocker had promised, "I will stand in front of that bulldozer and they will have to bulldoze me down."
Crocker and other residents said the condo owned by TD Bank was going to be torn down while cats still lived inside.
"Tomorrow is D-Day for this building and for this cat colony," cat lover Frank Del Vecchio said yesterday.
Del Vecchio said many of the cats were abandoned during the current economic crisis and sought refuge in the foreclosed property.
Crocker said her group contacted TD Bank and Davie contractor ASC Inc. and got no response. The makeshift cat advocacy group also got Miami-Dade County involved.
"The property is supposed to contact us if there are living animals inside. They never did," said Officer Levare Baker, of Miami-Dade Animal Services.
Baker said it is against city and state law to knowingly cause harm to animals. While no harm has been done at the property yet, Baker said it is his job to inform the owners that if they proceed with demolition they could potentially face fines and felony charges.
Baker added, "There's little that can be done to stop the demolition. You would practically have to find a dead cat to say they did any harm here."
Contractors are searching for the cats today and placing traps around the property. They said a professional would arrive sometime this week to find any remaining kittens.
The next tentative date for demolition is Monday, Aug. 16.
If you can adopt a rescued cat, call 786-275-6028.