Christopher Baity is an OEF/OIF veteran Marine Corps dog trainer and kennel master with three combat deployments, one civilian deployment and two additional overseas deployments with working dogs. He has over 15 years of dog training and handling experience. He founded Semper K9 Assistance Dogs to continue his life saving work with the Marine Corps into the private sector with Semper K9. Semper K9’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for wounded, critically-ill and injured members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families by providing them dogs for psychiatric alert and mobility challenges free of charge to wounded service members. Chris is very devoted to the mission of Semper K9. He does that wholeheartedly, by working countless hours to help fellow service members who are struggling with combat trauma.
Chris's personal mission is to ensure that Semper K9 is successful and can continue to assist veterans at the rapid pace that assistance is needed. He always lives life to the fullest and wants others to share in that success. By finding his niche in the K9 world long ago, he aspires to encourage the veterans Semper K9 helps to find that passion inside of them post service and helps send them off in the right direction to reach their goals. He also has this same mission when it comes to family, using the same approach with his five children.
Since it's conception in 2014, Semper K9 has graduated over 20 service dog teams. Many of the service members how have received service dogs have publicly stated that if it were not for Chris and his devotion, they would not have made it through the dark times of their mental illness. In 2017 an additional 12 dog teams will graduate under his guidance. Post graduation follow-up training is another huge part of how Chris impacts the lives of these veterans. He ensures that each of them has everything they need to be an effective team.
I admire Chris's ability to unite our volunteers and veterans, to inspire them to want to be successful, lead and guide them with their training while reassuring them all that they are doing a great job. His animal and human magnetism has been a trait admired by others. As a Marine, he exhibits the 14 characteristic traits that are constantly talked about. Among those loyalty, integrity and unselfishness are the three that stand out. He has had those traits since we were children and he continues to display them in every decision he makes for his family and Semper K9.
Semper K9 does not charge for services. If awarded the $50,000, this would allow 10 service dog teams to be fully trained from start to finish within our program. Having the funding to train these dogs would also allow Semper K9 to carry on the mission. Medical care is the main expense for service dog training, along with food and equipment. Ensuring these dogs have the best care possible is essential to the success of the graduating teams.
Chris is one of the most humble people you would ever meet. While he does not feel like a "hero" or that he is helping save lives, all of the volunteers at Semper K9 know that he is a hero. As his wife, he motivates me to be a better person every day, giving me the strength and energy I need to care for our children and operate Semper K9. He is an inspiration to so many and looked to with his peers for encouragement and support. He truly does live a rare life.