The two-person staff of the nonprofit W-Underdogs in Atlanta, Georgia, call themselves “your friendly neighborhood superheroes.” It didn’t take long for them to realize that not all heroes wear capes!
Keith Walker has been living on the streets since he was 13 years old, and every night, he brings Bravo, his canine bestie, to W-Underdogs for shelter.
W-Underdogs is a youth organization for underprivileged children in Atlanta. The nonprofit encourages kids to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome animals. They also support family pets during difficult times, offering them free shelter, food, and basic veterinary care.
Keith started bringing Bravo to the shelter every night about a year ago. While he is grateful to them for keeping Bravo safe, he never expected to return the favor!
One morning, he was walking to W-Underdogs to pick Bravo up when he saw fire shooting out of the building. An electrical fire had started in the building’s kitchen and was quickly engulfing everything in flames. Without hesitating, Keith rushed inside to help the volunteers and firefighters who were desperately trying to get dozens of animals outside.
“I was really scared to go in there with all that smoke, but God put me there to save those animals,” Keith said. “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.”
Keith kept running in and out of the building until every cage and crate was empty, rescuing six dogs and 10 cats in all!
Gracie Hamlin, the shelter’s founder, couldn’t be more thankful for Keith’s heroic actions that day. “Keith embodied the spirit of W-Underdogs when he saved our animals in their time of need,” she wrote on Facebook. “We value the relationship we have built with him this past year while helping him to care for his dog, and we will continue to work with Keith according to what his wishes are.”
When word got out about Keith’s rescue mission, the public began looking for ways to repay him and help him find a home. W-Underdogs has been working with Keith to improve his situation but say his homelessness is “complex.” So far, their GoFundMe has raised more than $82,000, and the nonprofit is helping him manage everything.
“I can’t thank him enough for saving my animals,” Gracie added. “I’m still in disbelief, because I’ve been around a fire and I know how fast they flare up. He is my hero.”
As terrified as Keith felt when he first saw the flames, his love for animals drove him to risk his own life to save theirs. What a powerful example of true courage!
Share this story to thank Keith for his bravery and compassion.
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