SOURCE: Palm Beach Post by Julio Poletti on Friday, Nov 17, 2017.
It was a very Floridian welcome when dozens of soon-to-be adopted dogs arrived Thursday evening to Palm Beach International airport from the U.S. Virgin Islands. Rain showers poured around 5:45 p.m., soaking volunteers and the media as they welcomed the lovey bunch.
But a little rain is nothing to these animals. They survived two major hurricanes, Irma and Maria, this year.
This was the first group of a total of 100 dogs that were rescued by Big Dog Ranch Rescue (BDRR) along with Victory Air, country music star Kenny Chesney's "Love for Love City," whose home in the St. Johns was destroyed this hurricane season.
Country singer Kenny Chesney couldn't make the Big Dog Ranch Rescue flight after storms Thursday, Nov. 11 delayed the plane's take off from the U.S. Virgin Islands. But he did help load 100 dogs and puppies onto the plane before sending them off to Palm Beach International Airport with Big Dog Ranch Rescue volunteers. (Provided)
These dogs were homeless, abandoned or stranded on the islands after the two hurricanes wiped out most of the infrastructures. Most human families were evacuated and could only bring themselves, leaving their pets behind.
"Our pets are like our family and right now our family is hurting, said Laureen Simmons, founder and President of Big Dog Ranch Rescue. "It's a struggle for people to survive the conditions and nearly impossible for our dogs and cats so we are working with several groups to do the most we can to sustain life during this difficult time."
Volunteers worked as the rain continued Thursday evening. Some dogs were brought out on leashes, others in crates. The dogs were then to be transported to their designated shelters in Virginia, South Carolina, Orlando and Palm Beach County. They're looking for forever homes.
To support relief efforts by donating or volunteering, go to http://bdrr.org/.