When Hurricane Irma made landfall on the island of St. John in September as a category five storm, its 185 mph sustained winds stripped the landscape bare, tearing away homes from their foundations and people from those they love– including their four-legged family members.
Among those affected by the natural disaster was one of the island’s most famous residents, chart-topping country crooner Kenny Chesney. The singer lost his own St. John home in the devastation, but in the days after the destruction the foundation established by the star has been helping displaced dogs and cats reunite with their pet parents and get on the road to finding their new forever homes.
In the wake of the widespread wreckage the platinum-selling recording artist with a heart of gold launched the Love for Love City Foundation. Named after a nickname for the island that has been Chesney’s home for the past 20 years, the private organization is shining a spotlight on the present plight of all those in the US and British Virgin Islands. According to The News of St. John, Chesney and his team were on the ground offering aid even prior to the arrival of the US military, providing people with the necessities of life (food, water and medical supplies to treat the injured) and items needed to bring about the start of the area’s rebirth, from generators to cleanup equipment.
Thanks to Love for Love City, some dogs and cats have been able to leave the remaining rubble of their neighborhoods with their humans, and on Halloween evening approximately 100 companion animals who had been saved from the streets by Animal Care Center in St. John boarded a plane for Florida, where they will receive care in no-kill shelters as they wait for the day when they meet their new forever pet parents.
“If you’ve ever loved a dog or a cat,” the singer stated “the idea of these poor animals who can’t find their people, who are struggling to find food, some of whom need medicine, it breaks your heart. To me, if we can’t find their owners, we can find them love. That’s what Love for Love City is all about.”
Although the destructive winds are now calm and the water receded, the work to rebuild the Caribbean communities has only just begun. If you would like to contribute to the ongoing efforts of Kenny Chesney’s Love for Love City Foundation to provide relief to people and pets in the US and British Virgin Islands affected by Hurricane Irma, you can purchase Love for Love City merchandise (with all proceeds going to Hurricane Irma disaster relief), send a donation online via PayPal, send funds via Wire or ACH transfer, or mail a check to:
Love for Love City Foundation
℅ Wells Fargo Private Bank
3100 West End Avenue, Suite 530
Related Page: Stars help animals affected by Hurricane Harvey
Photo Credit: Kenny Chesney/ Instagram