POWELL, Tenn. (WATE) — An eighth-grade student at Powell Middle School organized a pet supply drive after hearing her band director’s dog passed away.

Donnie Hero is the band director at Powell Middle School and helps lead the Tri M Music Honor Society. He recently lost his basset hound Moose to unexpected liver problems.

“Everybody that came into contact with Moose had a love for him, he just loved everybody, every dog, he was just a great companion for my wife and myself,” Hero said.

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Hero said his students never met Moose in person, but knew about him and even performed a musical piece that Hero wrote about him.

When his student Presley Hammond heard about his loss, she wanted to do something to honor Moose’s memory.

Mr. Hero and Presley Hammond
Teacher Donnie Hero, left, and student Presley Hammond, right. (Courtesy of Melissa Hammond)

“I was really sad and I knew that I wanted to do something, because I know Moose meant a lot to a lot of people, and I wanted to do something in memory,” Hammond said.

Hammond thought a pet supply drive could work as Tri M’s annual community outreach project and could be held in Moose’s honor.

“You know Young Williams always needs supplies and Moose was a basset hound, so we found a basset rescue in Tennessee, and I decided we could take up donations for that,” Hammond said.

Hero missed school after Moose’s death, and when he returned Presley presented the idea to him. He said the students give him hope for the future.

“I just want to thank them, it’s been really tough and they made it a little bit easier, and I’m super proud of them,” Hero said.

The drive started Feb. 13 and will be held through Feb. 27. They are accepting items such as dog food, blankets and cleaning supplies in the front lobby of Powell Middle School. They are also accepting donations through Amazon.

The donations will be given to Young Williams Animal Center and Belly Rubs Basset Rescue.