Miami-Dade Animal Services (MDAS) seeks public assistance to locate a man whose dog died after falling over 30 floors from a downtown Miami apartment building on Nov. 12. MDAS stated they were “following up on complaints” about a dog reportedly left on a balcony at Square Station apartments, Local 10 News reports.
Footage of the Belgian Malinois pacing on a cluttered balcony before tragically falling to their death has gone viral. In addition, multiple news outlets have since obtained graphic photos and video showing the dog’s body placed in a garbage bag on the pavement.
Dog’s body found on the pavement
The dog’s body was found near the apartment building’s south side. According to the police report detailing the discovery, the front desk attendant informed authorities they were unaware of the dog owner’s identity. Furthermore, they had not received any inquiries about a missing dog.
Property managers had to handle the removal of the deceased dog’s body from the sidewalk.
“I think it was an accident,” said Charles Stewart, an acquaintance of the dog’s owner. Stewart, another resident of the 34-story apartment building, mentioned how news of the event swiftly circulated amongst neighbors.
Stewart revealed that he had met the dog’s owner on several occasions before and after the incident. “He seemed like he was very distraught,” Stewart shared. Continuing, he said he believed the Belgian Malinois “was a rescue animal.” He also added that it “seemed like [the dog owner] was pretty crushed by everything that happened.”
Miami-Dade’s stance on balcony dog safety
According to Sam Gafcovich, an enforcement supervisor at Miami-Dade Animal Services, the department handles numerous balcony-related dog reports. While not explicitly illegal, providing inadequate shelter can result in legal consequences.
“Leaving dogs on balconies is not the right way to go,” Gafcovich emphasized. “Most people feel their dogs are their babies, and they raise them like that.” Continuing, he said, “So, you wouldn’t leave your infant on the balcony unattended. Do the same for your animals.”
Gafcovich also stated that the investigation is ongoing as police officers are revisiting the building in order to gather witness statements. Moreover, a property manager shared that the dog owner “was evicted from his apartment” last week. In fact, “eviction proceedings began weeks ago after property managers said that they received multiple community violations, fines — including one for barking — along with non-payment of rent from the tenant.”