An homeless man in Atlanta has received praise after he risked his life to rescue all the animals at the W-Underdogs animal shelter after it caught fire.

CNN reports that 53-year-old Keith Walker ran into the shelter on Dec. 18 after a fire started in the kitchen. "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. "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."

In a post on the W-Underdogs Facebook page, founder Gracie Hamlin said the shelter was left unihabitable. Thankfully, W-Underdogs was just one week away from moving to a newer shelter elsewhere in Atlanta, and the animals have all since been moved there. "He is my guardian angel," Hamlin said of Walker. "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 added that she has known Walker, who has been homeless since he was at least 13, because he's come to visit his dog Bravo at the shelter every night. He was on his way to the shelter to pick up Bravo when he spotted the fire, and he immediately ran in to save the six dogs and ten cats in the building. "I can't thank him enough," Hamlin 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."