It’s hard to believe it, but Sally Knox spent Saturday night in her home, which was ravaged by a tornado and left without a roof.

“I walked outside and I just stared. I thought I was dreaming,” she says. “I thought, ‘This doesn’t happen to me. This happens to other people.’ I didn’t think it’d ever happen to me.”

Her first concern was her pets. Knox doesn’t have just a dog, though she does have a few of those too.

“I have a zebra, camel, donkeys, horses. I’ve got monkeys, parrots, talking birds,” she says. “I have a few missing. I have about six missing. I’ve got about five injured. Then I have three that didn’t make it. They passed away. They’re like my children.”

Knox calls her property just south of Canton her “dream ranch,” a place that would make herself and others happy. Saturday, despite the heartbreak and damage, it did that in a wholly unexpected way.

“I’ve had people drive an hour or two hours away to help me,” she says.

Volunteers helped erect temporary fences, they brought food and hay and they kept coming all day.

“A friend of a friend called and said, ‘Go check on her. She needs help. I said OK,’” Megan Hobbs says, explaining why she showed up at Knox’s.

Knox says she had no idea so many people knew about her ranch or cared about her enough to help. “I was losing hope in humanity,” she admits.

Knox says her faith in people is restored and her animals are safe.For her, that’s all that matters.

“I’m alive and I have a good attitude, so I guess that’s the most important thing,” she says.