Chris Baity has had a lifelong love of animals that started with his parents, who bred golden retrievers and Labradors. Then he became a dog trainer, teaching combat dogs to detect and locate weapons and explosives while he was serving eight years as a Marine, including three tours of duty in Iraq.
And when he retired from the Marines, he realized he could give shelter dogs a new life by teaching them the same skills he used to make dogs in the field so effective. “The dogs were great because of the bond they had with their handler,” Baity explains.
So he and his wife, Amanda, started Semper K9 Assistance Dogs, which provides free, trained rescue animals to vets who suffer from physical or mental disabilities. “You show these men how to work with a dog,” he says, “and all those disabilities just melt away.”