In an incident that is warming hearts on Christmas, a homeless man in the United States saved the lives of 16 cats and dogs that were stuck inside a burning animal shelter in Atlanta, Georgia.
On December 18, a fire broke out in the W-Underdogs shelter in Southside and engulfed the kitchen in flames. As smoke rose out of the building's crevices, 53-year-old Keith Walker decided to risk his own life to save those of the innocent animals.
Walker, who has been homeless since the age of 13, has a dog named Bravo and the shelter had allowed him to keep the pitbull there at night. On this particular night, however, when Walker came to pick up Bravo for a walk, he found the shelter in flames.
Speaking to CNN, Walker said that he was "nervous as hell" but that he did what he had to do. "God put me there to save those animals," Walker said, adding, "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."
Walker's bravery helped save the lives of six dogs and ten cats including Bravo who were at the shelter that night.
Gracie Hamlin, the founder of W-Underdogs, called Walker her "guardian angel" and told CNN that he was inside the building and pulling out cats and dogs even as the fire department called in the animal shelter to deal with the rescue operation.
The incident was shared by W-Underdogs on their Facebook page and Walker has since been receiving a lot of love on social media.
This is not the first time that news of a fire at an animal shelter made it to headlines this year. Earlier in the month, an animal shelter in Lancaster, United Kingdom. The animals there were not as lucky as the ones saved by Walker in Georgia, with one cat perishing due to the freak accident.