On June 23, 2021 tragedy struck the Miami suburb of Surfside when the Champlain Towers South condo collapsed in the middle of the night. Search and rescue efforts began and family members held onto hope as they waited for news about their missing loved ones, and for many that included their missing pets.
For the Gonzalez family, the missing pet was their beloved black feline, Binx. According to CBS Miami, Angela Gonzalez and her 16-year-old daughter fell several stories when the condo collapsed and are still recovering from serious injuries. Gonzalez suffered from a broken pelvis, but still managed to get herself and her daughter to safety. Miraculously, Binx was found safe and wandering through the rubble sixteen days after the building collapsed. Through the power of social media posts, fliers, and local cat rescue organization Kitty Campus, he was reunited with his family.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava shared the positive news and an update on Binx in a news conference on Friday, July 9. Here is what she had to say on Twitter:
After 16 long and incredibly difficult days, I’m able to share a small piece of good news — Binx from Champlain Towers South has been found.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart and on behalf of our community to the team who played a role in reuniting him with his family. pic.twitter.com/yzDxW6plHG
— Daniella Levine Cava (@MayorDaniella) July 10, 2021
Gina Nicole Vlasek is the co-founder of Kitty Campus and the president of Saving Sage Animal Rescue Foundation and she shared more details about this heartwarming rescue.
“Late Thursday evening, Officer Mary with MBAA reached out to us and told us that FEMA had a kitty that they believed to be Binx missing from #904. She asked if we could go pick it up and keep it safe and help identify it,” said Vlasek in a Facebook post. “The following morning, Friday, July 8th Taylor Gonzalez came to Kitty Campus accompanied by first responders from all over to see if the black cat we had was indeed the Gonzalez families Binx.”
Without the hard work of local first responders and Kitty Campus volunteers, this reunion would not have been possible. Binx wasn’t microchipped, but has distinct markings like his tipped ears, a narrow face, a tiny scar on the top of his head, and white chest hairs and that is how Taylor, the oldest Gonzalez daughter, was able to verify it was him.
In another post, Vlasek noted “we are so grateful to be able to help in any small way. These families lost so much, but our south Florida communities team work was able to give them this.”