Homeless Man Rushes into Shelter on Fire to Save 16 Animals
The human-animal bond has nothing to do with sex, race or wealth. A homeless man is being hailed as a hero after he risked his life to rescue over a six dogs and ten cats from a fire at W-Underdogs shelter in Southwest Atlanta, GA on December 18.
The facility’s owner, Gracie Hamlin, was out picking up supply donations when she was alerted that the shelter was on fire. Atlanta fire officials said Keith Walker, 53, rushed to the scene and helped bring the animals to safety. No doubt, this is the stuff heroes are made of as Walker put his own life into jeopardy.
With the shelter being uninhabitable, volunteers quickly stepped up to provide foster homes.
“Update: We have received a flood of requests on how people can help Mr. Keith Walker, the hero who saved our animals from the fire. Rest assured we have Mr. Walker’s best interests at heart, and are exploring how to best manage donations that have come in on his behalf. Please understand that the issues surrounding Mr. Walker’s homelessness are complex, and we need to proceed with care. Toward this end, we will be seeking an organization experienced in working with homeless and vulnerable populations to be his advocate and ensure that his needs, wishes, safety and well-being are taken into account. This will take some time, as we are currently stretched to the limit resource-wise and are still operating in crisis mode.
There have been suggestions that we give Mr. Walker a job and place to live at the new facility. In fact, we have already been working with Mr. Walker for a quite some time now, giving him various jobs throughout the years. Additionally, we have always provided food and shelter to his dog Bravo. This will not change in our new location. However, due to the fact that we are first and foremost a youth organization, there are constraints on the kinds of jobs we are able to offer him. And for this reason, as well as the building being zoned as a commercial facility, we are not able to offer him lodging there. But, in the end, we will do our best to ensure that Mr. Walker is cared for, always with consideration and respect as to how much help he wishes to receive.
Regarding GoFund Me Campaigns for Mr. Walker. It has come to our attention that several campaigns by different individuals have been set up. Please be advised that the ONLY campaign we have verified and are in communication with is that of Mr. Frank Cote. If you would like to make a donation specifically for Mr. Keith Walker, please visit:
If you would like to support the W-Underdogs in our mission to continue helping people in our community faced with challenges in caring for their pets, please visit:
Thank you to everyone for your concern and kind generosity.”