After Surfside tower collapse, working dogs search for survivors

The Surfside building collapse in Florida involved many different first responders, not all of them human. The dogs have been involved in working roles for many years and are often brought to the scene when tragedy strikes.

Two different types of search and rescue dogs work closely with first responders. The third type of dog is seen outside the rubble working with survivors and families of victims.

The first type, seeks the living who are trapped or injured. They are able to maneuver into more dangerous areas and search for survivors with their keen sense of smell. They then alert their human counterparts who are able to set up a plan to save these individuals. Many dogs with this specialty have worked on the stage.

The second type of search and rescue dogs that can be found working among rubble are known as human remains or K-9 corpses. Their specialties include locating the deceased so they can be picked up and buried by their loved ones. There are three dead K-9s on site in Florida.

As of Monday, the official death toll is eleven people and more than 150 people are still missing.

After the tower collapsed in Surfside, Florida, numerous first responders were called to the scene, including three different types of dogs to assist with search and rescue efforts as well as for therapy purposes.

Different from the other two types of dogs on site, the third type is seen among family members providing emotional support. The stress and anxiety caused by tragedy and grief can be very difficult to deal with. Dogs provide a great outlet by allowing individuals to vent their emotions on dogs while dogs provide stability and comfort. Two therapy dogs were brought to the scene by the Boricuas de Corazon disaster relief team.

A variety of breeds can be spotted working among other first responders including: Greyhounds, Labrador Retrievers, Walker Coonhounds, German Shepherds and Akbash dogs. All of these dogs share one goal in trying to help so many victims of the Champlain Towers South collapse tragedy in Surfside, Florida.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by this tragedy.

Bette C. Alvarado