POTTAWATOMIE COUNTY, Okla. -- In tonight’s "Pay it 4ward" segment we honor an Oklahoman who has a huge heart for animals. She rescues mistreated and unwanted horses and dogs.
Despite losing a portion of her ranch to the May tornadoes, she hasn't surrendered to Mother Nature. In fact, the setback has only inspired her to do more.
It's a beautiful, 17-acre sanctuary in rural Pottawatomie County. 1 Day Ranch, in Bethel Acres, cares for abused, neglected, and unwanted animals from across the state.
“You have a heart for animals?” we asked Meaghan Hadley with 1 Day Ranch.
“Yes; Definitely. They are my love. I love them. We've got 10 horses now,” Hadley explains. “And we've got about 16 dogs in the rescue right now.
It's a labor of love for Meaghan Hadley. But less than a month after moving here, Mother Nature came calling.
“I said, ‘oh, it’s coming.’ I could feel it,” Hadley says.
Meaghan and her boyfriend saw the twister over the horizon.
Grab a lease, grab a dog and run,” Hadley told her boyfriend.
And [they] ducked in their storm shelter with more than a dozen dogs. The horses rode out the twister in a farm pond.
“They all jumped into the pond and their heads were sticking out like alligators. After a few minutes they all came out and everybody was okay,” Hadley says.
The same could not be said for their 80-year-old barn.
“We are safe to walk in. Just don't lean against anything,” Hadley recalls saying.
“Mother Nature gave you an unplanned remodel?” we asked.
“Yes. An unplanned remodel; absolutely,” Hadley says.
The next day, while working animal triage in the tornado ravaged community of Moore, Meaghan's truck was totaled in a collision with an inattentive driver.
Yet, even in the midst of her own personal tragedy, Meaghan’s crusade never ceased, rescuing the smallest tornado victims.
Friend and fellow animal lover, Jenny Patten nominated Meaghan for Spirit Bank’s Pay it 4ward.
“What is it about Meaghan that makes her so special?” we asked Patten.
Patten says, “Meaghan is relentless in her efforts to save these animals. She's amazing. She's non-stop and not afraid of anything.”
“Sounds like she had a string of bad luck and hopefully this will help her out. Anybody who loves animals that much needs help, so here is $400,” Amie Trautman, with Spirit Bank says.
“Awwww. She’ll love it. She'll love it,” Patten says.
Meaghan is about to find out why her friends have lured her to a park.
“Meaghan, we have a program called Pay it 4ward and your dear friend has nominated you as this week's recipient,” we told Meaghan. “You are just relentless in what you do and we respect you for that. You didn't stop, losing your truck, and your barn. So, on behalf of Spirit Bank and NewsChannel 4, I have some money for you.”
“I'm not going to cry. This is going to help with bills, unimaginable bills so it's definitely going to help. Thank you,” Meaghan Hadley says.
Hadley has big dreams for 1 Day Ranch including rebuilding the barn, launching an equestrian therapy center for children and finding homes for the homeless.
She says this $400 will be seed money to help her animal refuge rebuild and flourish.
“This is the best surprise I could have all day. Thank you so much. We'll get that barn built. We'll get it,” Hadley says.
"1 day ranch" has set up a website if you'd like to help Meaghan rebuild that barn. You can find that link here.
If you’d like to nominate someone, send us your suggestion at here.