When Kenny Chesney’s hometown, St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands was destroyed by the deadly hurricane, he wasted not a minute to gather his friends and start a relief program for all the victims. Imagine having to witness the town where you grew up and formed your own identity as a person and as an artist get torn to pieces by two massive hurricanes, Irma and Maria. The sight was probably too much to bear for the country artist.
“My home was gone and it had been built really strong. I’d live there for so long so to see it broken and bleeding, especially a place that was known for its beauty and charm, it was devastating. It had become a ghost of an island.” shares Chesney.
Aside from providing relief efforts and helping clean the wreckage brought by the natural calamities, Kenny Chesney’s team also drove his attention to the animals and pets that were also gravely stressed by the aftermath. According to Chesney, his assistant, Jill Trummell contacted Florida’s Big Dog Ranch soon after they helped deliver basic necessities and water to the people. She also kept in touch with Island Dog Rescue in Vieques, Puerto Rico, as well as in St. John and St. Thomas.
Thankfully, both organizations responded quickly to their distress call.
“Next thing you know, we’ve got three or four planes going down there
to get these animals healthy and safe.”
The rescue efforts reminded Chesney of his beloved dog, Cookie. Cookie was able to survive Hurricane Irma at first but sadly, she did not last that long. Her death became a bigger source of inspiration and motivation for Kenny Chesney. In fact, part of the reason why he established Love for Love City foundation was to honor Cookie.
At present, Chesney, together with his team, have successfully helped transport over 250 animals to the U.S. Their operations began in mid-November, and they were also able to return some of the pets to their rightful owners. Some of the animals were put up for adoption, while the others were given to shelters.
All in all, Kenny Chesney couldn’t be any prouder of the progress of his team’s efforts. While it may still take quite some time before the beautiful greenery of St. John is restored, the country singer expressed how proud he is to be a part of a movement that supports animal welfare and at the same time draws inspiration from his late furry companion.