Keith Walker had been homeless since he was just 13 years old, yet on a December night, he showed the W-Underdogs shelter's occupants that he is a real-life superhero.
At the Atlanta shelter, people are familiar with the 53-year-old. Gracie Hamlin, the founder of W-Underdogs, has been allowing Walker to keep his Pit Bull Bravo throughout the night at the shelter. Walker comes back in the morning and leads Bravo on walks.
Walker witnessed the building in fire while making one of those early morning returns.
Walker walked straight for the fire without pausing for a second.
"I'm not going to lie, I was quite anxious. Going in there with all that smoke made me quite nervous. He told CNN, "But God sent me there to save those animals. "If you can love a dog, you can love everyone in the entire world. As my dog is my dearest buddy and without him I would not be here, I felt I had to help all the other pets.
Walker left the shelter with every animal still present: six dogs and ten cats.
According to Hamlin, he is his guardian angel. Even the firefighters resisted handling the pets. Although Keith was already inside the structure removing the cats and dogs until everyone was safe, they still contacted animal control.
After the fire, the W-Underdogs building was still there, but the damage was too great to accommodate any animals. As it happened, the shelter was only a week away from moving to a new location.
Walker made it possible for those waiting to be adopted at the new shelter to also be at the old W-Underdogs shelter.
I can't express my gratitude to Walker enough for preserving my animals, Hamlin said. "I've been around fires, so I know how quickly they can flare up. I'm still in amazement. My hero is him.