Uplifting | Animals | Trending

Former Mob Enforcer Gives Up Crime To Run An Animal Shelter

James Guiliani, 50, roams the streets of New York at night in his signature track suit. Years ago he was up to no good, working as an enforcer for the notorious Gambino crime family and committing serious crimes including armed robbery, hijacking and kidnapping.  

Today, he has a more noble reason to be out at all hours: he's helping to protect New York's animal population. After doing hard time, Guiliani has committed himself to turning his life around. He now runs Keno's Animal Sanctuary, a no-kill shelter for all types of animals

Guiliani has had to overcome a lot in his life, including addictions to drugs and alcohol, but by following his passion for animals he's overcoming his demons. “Back in the day I would’ve killed someone," he told New York Daily News. "Now I enjoy life, I enjoy being alive.”

But even though he's staying on the straight and narrow, the "Dogfather" is still being targeted by authorities.

Click to the next page to learn why Guiliani is being investigated!

Keno's Animal Shelter is one of only a handful in New York that's pledged to help all animals. While dogs and cats roam free in the no-cage shelter upstairs, there's a "secret" shelter in the basement where injured wildlife can recover.

Guiliani and his team are some of the only animal rescuers in the city who look after squirrels, possums and raccoons, each of which are illegal to keep as pets in New York. The city's Health Department has already said they'll "look into" the shelter, but Guiliani has no plans to stop what he's doing.

He's already working 18 hours a day at the shelter (he says he sleeps just 3 hours a night) and often spends time walking the shelter's dogs late at night. Guiliani claims he hasn't had a day off in more than 1,000 days, but says his "addictive personality" keeps him hooked on his work.

"You gotta find something in your life. You gotta love it," he says. "If I don’t do this, nobody will.” Helping animals is also a way for Guiliani to make amends, and with a 94% re-home or return to nature rate, Keno's is doing a great job of paying back his debt to society.

“Maybe I see my animals like me, grew up and never had a chance,” he said. “Maybe that’s why I do it.”

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I write about all sorts of things for Shared, especially weird facts, celebrity news, and viral stories. CONTACT: zachary@shared.com