1010 WINS – After working as a military dog handler and trainer for nearly eight year, one retired Marine is using his skills to give back to other veterans.
Along with his wife, Amanda, Christopher Baity launched a non-profit called Semper K9 that trains service dogs to work with vets.
Baity tells Connecting Vets his organization aims to improve the quality of life of veterans and their families.
“If it means giving them just a really good day, you know, with some dogs and some fun, playful playtime with puppies, or if it’s giving them a highly-trained mobility dog or a completely trained psychiatric alert dog,” he says.
After leaving the service in 2009, Baity later fell into the service dog world. That’s when he developed an idea for a new program, which became Semper K9 in November 2014.
“I asked if I could take my experience, if I could build a pilot program checking rescue dogs and training them for veterans with mobility and psychiatric alert needs.”
Former Marine Kelvin Valdez is one of the veterans helped by Semper K9. He recalls a time his service dog, Belleau, helped him through a stressful visit to the Lincoln Memorial.
“I could tell there was a lot of people,” Valdez said. “I could feel the environment, but knowing that I had her on my leash, it was just like me and her walking in together, like nobody else existed except for me and her.”
— Troy Frisby