Homeless mans runs into burning animal shelter to save 16 dogs and cats

Keith Walker was described as a 'guardian angel'
Keith Walker was described as a ‘guardian angel’ (Picture: W-Underdogs/Facebook)

A homeless man put his own life at risk to run into a burning animal shelter and rescue 16 dogs and cats.

Keith Walker, 53, kept his own pitbull called Bravo at the W-Underdogs centre overnight, and was on his way to pick him up when he saw the flames on December 18.

But he didn’t stop with just rescuing his own pet – he made sure all the animals were safe.

He 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 .’

9092729 - news - Homeless man is hailed a 'guardian angel' after he rushes into burning animal shelter to rescue a dozen dogs
Keith Walker with the W-Underdogs van (Picture: Facebook)
9092729 - news - Homeless man is hailed a 'guardian angel' after he rushes into burning animal shelter to rescue a dozen dogs PICTURED: Keith Walker
He ran inside the rescue the cats and dogs (Picture: Grace Hamlin/Facebook)
Shelter founder Gracie Hamlin said that the shelter was left uninhabitable by the fire, which was electrical.

But luckily, they were about to move into new premises so there was still somewhere for the animals to live.

She told the broadcaster: ‘[Keith] is my guardian angel.

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‘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.’

Keith, who has been homeless since he was 13, has now been hailed as a hero after saving the six dogs and ten cats.

Well-wishers have raised almost $40,000 for him on GoFundMe. In a separate fundraiser for the shelter itself to rebuild after the fire, Grace said: ‘We are so grateful to CNN for posting our story. ‘Please know we are in contact with Keith Walker, who worked tirelessly to bring our animals to safety, and are working to assess the best way to assist him.

‘He is refusing all offers of help but we are determined. He is a vital part of our community and we will continue to work with him so he is appropriately rewarded for his selfless efforts.’

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