Homeless Man Rescues All Animals From A Shelter After It Catches Fire In Atlanta

by : Julia Banim on : 27 Dec 2020 16:40
Homeless Man Rescues All Animals From A Shelter After It Catches FireHomeless Man Rescues All Animals From A Shelter After It Catches Firethewunderdogs/Instagram

On December 18, a brave homeless man from Atlanta, Georgia, rushed into a burning animal shelter, risking his own life to save the animals trapped inside.

Keith Walker, 53, had been allowed to keep his own beloved pet dog, a pitbull called Bravo, at the W-Underdogs shelter every night.


While was on his way to collect Bravo for a walk, Keith saw that a fire had engulfed the kitchen of the shelter. At great personal risk, Keith was able to rescue every animal from inside the building, a total of six dogs and 10 cats.

Keith Keith @thewunderdogs/Instagram

Keith, who has been homeless since the age of 13, told CNN:

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.

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.


Although the shelter was not completely destroyed by the flames, the building is reportedly now uninhabitable.

Fortunately, at the time of the fire, W-Underdogs had been just one week away from moving its animals to a brand new facility, also based in Atlanta.


Speaking with CNN, W-Underdogs founder Gracie Hamlin described Keith as her ‘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.

Gracie 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.’

In a Facebook update given after the rescue, the shelter confirmed the animals were ‘all happy, warm, safe and comfortable’ following their ordeal.


You can lend a paw to W-Underdogs by donating to their GoFundMe page, which aims to support the shelter after the loss of ‘donations, gift cards, computers and animal supplies’.

According to an update on the page, which has raised more than $4,000 at the time of writing, Keith is reportedly ‘refusing all offers of help’. However, the shelter team remain determined to see that he is ‘appropriately rewarded’ for his act of heroism.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Animals, Atlanta, Georgia, Now, Shelter


W-Underdogs/Facebook and 2 others
  1. W-Underdogs/Facebook


  2. CNN

    A homeless man rescued all the animals at a shelter after it caught on fire

  3. Grace Hamlin/GoFundMe

    Not even a fire can keep the W-Underdogs' down!