They’re here and they’re safe.
About 138 cats and dogs arrived in South Florida after struggling to survive on the islands of St. Thomas and St. John, which are still suffering the devastating effects of Hurricanes Irma and Maria last fall.
The animals arrived Tuesday at Palm Beach International Airport, where Loxahatchee-based Big Dog Ranch Rescue and other shelters were on hand to prep them for adoption. They will head to homes in Palm Beach County, as well as Orlando, Virginia and South Carolina, reports The Palm Beach Post. Most of the animals were former pets of those who were forced to evacuate as the two storms ripped through the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The wannabe pets weren’t the only stars of the day: Country singer Kenny Chesney made their journey to South Florida possible. He was on hand to help out in the effort — his Love for Love City foundation reportedly paid for the plane’s fuel.
The cause hits close to home: The “All the Pretty Girls” singer lost his house on St. John during Irma.
“It’s just simply gone,” Chesney told HLN’s Robin Meade in September. “That place and the people mean so much more to me than my house … it’s just devastation. It’s really odd to see such a beautiful place look like a war zone.”
Chesney, 49, created the foundation soon after to help people — and animals — displaced by the devastating hurricane season.
To support relief efforts by donating, adopting or volunteering, go to http://bdrr.org.
Chesney will be back in South Florida on May 24 for a concert on his Trip Around the Sun tour at Coral Sky Amphitheatre near West Palm Beach.