A homeless man made the heroic move to save all the animals stuck inside a burning shelter after it caught fire in Atlanta, Georgia. Keith Walker, 53, has always been allowed to keep his pet pit bull, Bravo, at the W-Underdogs shelter overnight, but when he went to pick up the dog for a walk on December 18, he noticed the kitchen was engulfed in flames. He immediately sprung into action, saving every animal there – a total of 10 cats and six dogs.
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- Keith was scared but undeterred. Talking to CNN, he admitted that the idea of going into a burning building wasn’t particularly appealing, but he knew he had to save the animals inside. “I was nervous as hell, I’m not going to lie. I was really scared to go in there with all that smoke. But God put me there to save those animals,” he recalled. “If you love a dog, you can love anyone in the world. My dog is my best friend, and I wouldn’t be here without him, so I knew I had to save all those other dogs.”
- He’s now considered the shelter’s guardian angel. W-Underdogs founder Gracie Hamlin couldn’t thank Keith enough for saving the animals, saying, “He is my guardian angel. Even the firefighters didn’t want to handle the dogs. They called animal control, but Keith was already in the building pulling out the cats and dogs until they were all safe.” She added: “I can’t thank him enough for saving my animals. I’m still in disbelief because I’ve been around a fire and I know how fast they flare up. He is my hero.”
- The shelter wasn’t destroyed but it’s unusable as-is. While W-Underdogs didn’t burn to the ground, the shelter is uninhabitable in its current form. Luckily, they were already planning to move to a new premises in only a week, so what could have been an even more devastating tragedy is slightly more bearable.
- Hopefully Keith receives a handsome reward for his bravery. While it’s clear he didn’t do this for any accolades, Keith’s heroism should certainly be recognized. Having been homeless since he was 13, it’s unclear whether or not he’s interested in being housed or what his exact situation is, but ensuring his welfare is looked after would be a good place to start.