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Because You Matter: Exotic animals need help after tornado

CANTON, Texas (KETK) - East Texans in Canton are starting the rebuilding process after the devastating tornadoes that hit their city. Farm animals were also affected by the storms, including some animals you don't see often in the piney woods.

SK Ark Ranches and Texotics in Canton is home to animals like camels, zebras and monkeys. The tornado injured some of them and destroyed their home.

Sally Knox's house in Canton was severely damaged by the tornado.

"I heard like a freight train sound come through my house," Knox said.

But her main concern was with her more than 50 animals.

"I just came outside and looked around and thankfully most of my animals had survived," Knox said. "I had a few injured horses."

Several of her puppies and kittens died in the storm, and others ran away.

"Deer ran away and I had an emu it ran away we did capture it recently," Knox said.

The animals who stuck around were scared when they lost their shelter.

"The barns were taken away too," Knox said. "I had a lot of buildings that were taken away."

Now the animals are in temporary housing and recovering from the trauma.

Knox's uncle drove in to help her pick up the pieces.

"We're just ready to get things back together as quick as possible," her uncle Gene Neill said. "We're anxious, but we know it's going to take time."

Several community groups have dropped off supplies, but her animals still have some basic needs.

"Mainly animal food, dog food, horse feed and just some helping hands with the debris," Knox said.

Her dream once she rebuilds is to open the ranch to the public to help people.

"They've helped me in life emotionally, mentally, physically, so i figured if they've helped me I'm gonna start sharing them and helping other people," Knox said.

Canton ISD students were there earlier today helping clean up. She says she so appreciates anyone who can come lend a hand.

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