By Scott T. Sterling
Among the many good deeds enacted by Kenny Chesney after hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the U.S. Virgin Islands, the country star rescued more than 250 abandoned animals.
Chesney, whose home on St. John was completely destroyed, established Love for Love City, a foundation dedicated to providing aid to victims of hurricane Irma.
While working to help provide, food, water, electricity and more to the residents of the area, Chesney’s assistant, Jill Trunnell, noticed a larger number of domestic animals wandering the streets.
“She said to me, ‘What about the animals who have been left behind?'” Chesney told USA Today. “I said, ‘You’re right. We’ve got to help them too.'”
“Once we got past the anxiety of getting water to people and taking care of their basic needs, Jill contacted Big Dog Ranch in Florida and Island Dog Rescue in St. John, St. Thomas and Vieques in Puerto Rico,” Chesney continued. “Next thing you know, we’ve got three or four planes going down there to get these animals healthy and safe.”
Love for Love City corralled a fleet of transportation vehicles and 100 volunteers to help rescue the abandoned animals. While they worked to reunite animals with their owners, unclaimed animals were taken to rescue shelters around the country for adoption.
“I’ll tell you, it’s getting better every day, thanks to a lot of people,” Chesney said, stressing that the recovery efforts were far from over. “First time I flew there after the hurricane, every tree was broken. It looked like it had been bombed. Then a couple of weeks ago I went back and noticed a little bit of greenery. It takes a while. There’s no blueprint for something like this. But I’m really proud to be a part of helping the animals.”