On December 18, the unthinkable happened at an Atlanta animal shelter. Employees had gone home for the day, and the animals were left to rest for the evening before shelter workers returned early the next morning. On most days, this arrangement worked just fine – but on the chilly December day, an electrical fire broke out in the shelter’s kitchen. The animals had nowhere to go – their cages were locked, and they could undoubtedly both smell and feel the fire inching closer.
The animals at W-Underdogs were in grave danger – but by some miracle, a quiet superhero was nearby. 53-Year-old Keith Walker has been homeless since the age of 13, but through all of the challenges that come with homelessness, animals have been Walker’s constant companions.
W-Underdogs founder Gracie Hamlin allows Walker to keep his dog, Bravo, at the shelter at night. While on his way to give his beloved pup one final evening walk, Walker noticed the fire and jumped into action.
“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,” Walker told CNN. “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.”
Tonight we thank our guardian angels. The homeless man that ran into our burning house and rescued our animals. The…
When firefighters arrived, they called animal control to handle the shelter’s many residents – but Walker was already on the job, pulling the terrified dogs and cats from their cages to safety. And yes, he rescued every single one.
“I can’t thank him enough for saving my animals,” Hamlin said. “I’m still in disbelief, because I’ve been around a fire and I know how fast they flare up. He is my hero.”