MIAMI – Miami-Dade Animal Services is asking the public to help find a man whose dog died after it fell more than 30 floors from the balcony of an apartment building last weekend.
MDAS said they were following up on complaints of a dog left on a balcony at an apartment of Square Station, located near downtown Miami on Sunday.
The viral video of the Belgian Malinois showed the dog pacing back and forth on a cluttered balcony before it got on the other side of the railing on the balcony and fell to its death.
Local 10 News obtained a photo of the dog’s body in a garbage bag while it was down on the pavement.
“I think it was an accident,” said Charles Stewart, who knows the dog’s owner. “That’s my opinion.”
Stewart told Local 10 News that he lives at Square Station near downtown Miami, where word of the incident spread quickly throughout the community.
Stewart said he had run into the dog’s owner a few times before and after the fall.
“He seemed like he was very distraught,” said Stewart. “I believe it was a rescue animal and seemed like he was pretty crushed by everything that happened.”
An incident report showed that the dog’s body was found on a nearby sidewalk just before 10 a.m. Sunday on the south side of the apartment building.
The front desk attendant told police that they didn’t know the owner and had never been contacted about a missing dog, the report stated.
Local 10 News was told that property managers had to remove the dog’s body from the sidewalk after the dog died.
Sam Gafcovich, an enforcement supervisor with Miami-Dade Animal Services, told Local 10 News that the department receives hundreds of calls for dogs on balconies, and while it isn’t illegal, he said not providing adequate shelter is a punishable offense.
“Leaving dogs on balconies is not the right way to go,” he said. “Most people feel their dogs are their babies and they raise them like that. So, you wouldn’t leave your infant on the balcony unattended. Do the same for your animals.”
Gafcovich said police officers were back at the building on Wednesday hoping to get statements from witnesses as their investigation continues.
One of the apartment building’s property managers told Local 10 News that the tenant/dog owner was evicted from his apartment on Tuesday.
They said those 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.
Local 10 News reached out to the dog’s owner but has not received a response as of Wednesday evening.