A dog owner was able to save more than a dozen animals from an Atlanta shelter that caught fire a week before Christmas. 

Keith Walker, 53, who was experiencing homelessness, saw the burning building while walking his dog, Bravo, on Dec. 18. Without hesitation, Walker charged into the blazing building to rescue the caravan of animals at W-Underdogs shelter, according to CNN.

“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 said.

The fire originated from the kitchen area of the shelter, The New York Post reported. With his quick action and bravery, Walker was able to save six dogs and 10 cats, per 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," Walker said.

Atlanta fire department officials said the kitchen electrical fire prevented them from being able to save the shelter before its structure was destroyed by the flames, according to Patch. However, a Facebook post from the shelter indicated that the organization had begun moving animals into a new facility proceeding the fire. The following day after the fire, the shelter was able to officially relocate to its new central location in Atlanta.

Yesterday afternoon while out picking up supply donations I received a call that my home, and W-Underdogs headquarters,…

Posted by W-Underdogs on Saturday, December 19, 2020

W-Underdogs' mission is to empower youth through service to animals and dedication to the community. Specifically, the organization works with at-risk youth to rescue animals and help develop empathy in its young participants as they work to change their communities. W-Underdogs founder Gracie Hamlin, who befriended Walker prior to the shelter fire, said his act was heroic and selfless.

"He is my guardian angel. 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,” Hamlin told CNN.

She added that the danger of the moment would have prevented many from acting, but Walker’s compassion for dogs and animals makes him her “hero.”

On Instagram, Hamlin expressed gratitude for Walker’s commitment to the animals and thanked community members who have stepped up to support the organization’s work. 

“Tonight we thank our guardian angels,” she began. “The homeless man that ran into our burning house and rescued our animals. The fire department and @fultonanimalservices officers MJ and Joan for quick action. Our animals are safe and thanks to the incredible response from the community, everyone is settled and safe warm and secure❤️????.”

If you would like to support the W-Underdogs mission and its transition of animals rescued in the fire, Hamlin has created a GoFundMe campaign to help offset expenses. Direct donations to the organization can also be made.

The shelter’s founder has also requested that donors consider gifting large elevated dog beds, moving blankets and thick blankets, cat trees, sanitation wipes, paper towels, dog food and refrigerators for vaccines. The organization has also curated an Amazon wish list full of other items needed for its shelter.