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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Semper K9 Assistance Dogs

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Training, Animals, Mental Health, Mental Health Disorders, Military & Veterans Organizations, Veterans

Mission: Combat veteran founded and operated, 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 assistance dogs. Using rescued and donated dogs we provide service dogs for psychiatric alert and mobility challenges free of charge to wounded service members.

Target demographics: U.S. Service Members and their families

Geographic areas served: United States

Programs: Service Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Facility Dogs, Military Family Support Dogs, Maintenance Training, Community Education, Service Dog Support for Veterans and Family Integration Program.

Community Stories

39 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

5 usmcspouse2000

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Semper K9 was founded by an OEF/OIF combat veteran to help wounded veterans. I think this is always going to be the best for any VSO. Having someone who truly understands about combat life & military culture is critical. After meeting Mr. Baity you will instantly realize he is the real deal. Being that their founder and K9 Program Directors are both combat veterans, military working dog handlers, trainers and kennel masters makes this nonprofit so successful. All of their directors and advisors are combat veterans, military spouses or have strong ties to the mission. I am thankful to have this nationally recognized nonprofit in the county that my family calls home, Prince William, VA! Semper Fi

1 Rebecca B.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having watched Semperk9 grow from the very beginning, I can testify to the hard work and dedication that the founders have put into this organization. I am amazed every day at the selfless effort the volunteers and supporters have poured into Semperk9 and am thrilled to see the positive results for the veterans they serve.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I made a small contribution to help their efforts and made is a monthly donation. In return, I received a handwritten thank you card with a painting of one of their puppies on it. It was signed by the founders!

I am thankful to know that these people are so involved in every aspect of the organization and I enjoy following their social media accounts to see all the great things they are doing for veterans!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We are so proud to be a part of Semper K9 as a coach family. We have been welcomed so warmly, meet a bunch of great people, and love working with the dogs. We are very excited to be able to help give back to the Veterans who selflessly served our country. We are also thankful for the all the life lessons that our children will receive by being part of such a phenomenal group and mission.

2 Kelley M.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The moment I met a veteran with his service dog from Semper K9, I fell in love with the mission. Shortly after that I signed up to help “here and there” and ended up having so much inspiration from Amanda and Chris that I ended up being their fundraising coordinator. It is truly a blessing to spend a lot weekends with my Semper K9 family out in the community sharing love and hope.

Previous Stories
4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SemperK9 has been an amazing experience for me. As an avid dog lover and Army brat, it's important to save two lives in one.

3 Jessica R.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I was getting out of the Marine Corps in 2016 Semper K9 was a great ally in my successful transition. They helped my Service Dog, Bella and I be a better handler team. Bella and I are now completing our Bachelors Degree in Art Education and are active participates at the UNCG Veterans Resource Center. I am a better Veteran, Student, and Mother because of Semper K9. I can not thank them enough for everything they have done, and continue to do for my family.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Working with Semper K9 has taught me a lot both about myself and my companion Persia. We both have learned and grown together thanks to the teaching and leadership of Christopher Baity as well as the very professional volunteer coaches/staff. The great thing about this organization is that all the services they provide are free to the veterans; from providing the veteran with a dog as well as providing the teaching and coaching to both the veteran and the service dog. Semper K9 is non-profit organization that is strictly run on donations and volunteers. Most of the dogs come from shelter and now and then from a breeder. Everyone is treated like family! Thank-you for accepting me, my family and Persia into your Semper K9 Family!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with SemperK9 has been a great experience for our family. All 5 kids, my husband and I have all gone through training and work with our SemperK9 puppy. We have trained one dog already for her Veteran. It is awesome to see Casey be exactly what her Veteran needs. We have great support from the SemperK9 team and jumped at the chance to work with another pup. She is going to grow up and do great things too! Thank you SemperK9 for giving us an opportunity to help Veterans in a real tangible way.

2 WildWhispers

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sometimes it's hard in the Veteran world to truly make life saving impact. Semper K9 Assistance Dogs has found a way to do just that. The dogs are only one small part of it. When you become a part of Semper K9, you join a family that is ready in everyway to make you apart of their mission. Semper K9's pups save lives and Semper K9's people change lives.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have no words for how incredible this organization and its member are. When my mom came home from Charming Charlie's a year ago and couldn't stop talking about a service dog she had met and the story of the organization, I knew that it would absolutely deserve some of my family's time and money. What I didn't realize was how committed this huge extended family of people was to changing the lives of veterans through service dogs and just how much a part of that family my own family would become. We first watched over a dog named Kiernan during a period of time when her veteran was very busy with family obligations/a cross-country move. She came into our house and changed our lives, and it was at this point that my mom realized just how much she wanted to be a proponent of the work Semper K9 does. Even my dad, who isn't a big snuggle person or dog lover for any dogs beside our own grew to love Kiernan and the mission of this organization. Countless fundraisers, training classes, down and waits, and one very special German Shepard puppy named Chuck later, my entire family is involved in Semper K9 training. It goes beyond that though - dog people are special people, but dog people who care about a mission of helping other people who have served our nation are unfathomably rare and it seems that they have all ended up under Chris and Amanda's wings, making a difference one pup and veteran at a time.

3 Cecilia D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I only started working with Semper K9 last year. I have met some really amazing people and dogs. The founders are wonderful people. I help when I can and they don’t make you sign up for a certain amount of time they just want the volunteers to help when they can. I am greatful to have met these wonderful people

3 Amy L.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Terrific organization. I attended graduation ceremony and was so touched hearing the stories from the veterans this organization helped with these dogs. I see firsthand as my neighbor trains her service dog and then the service dog with their veteran, helping them in their life. What a wonderful gift this organization gives.

3 Aye K.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I can not say enough good things about this organization. Very well put together and organized. They do a wonderful job of training and placing dogs.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was introduced to Semper K-9 through my friend and neighbor who was fostering a Semper K-9 assistance puppy. I also had the opportunity to attend the most recent graduation of the service dogs . Such an amazing experience! You could tell that each veteran had a dog that was best matched to them that fit his/her personality. The bond of love between the veteran and the dogs was so evident. As the veterans told their stories it was emotional however it is so inspirational. The power that these dogs had to ease the suffering after the veterans returned home from overseas was awesome. Semper K-9, their volunteers, Amanda and Chris, all are doing such a beautiful thing for both the dogs and their veterans. The gift of a dog to a family, trained by Chris and his support team, is such an incredible thank you to those that served our country. I was able to see first hand some of the training that the volunteers and Chris's team does with the puppies. It is first class - the dogs are molded into the working dogs they need to become. It is such an amazing opportunity to see the journey, be a part of it, and hear the success stories and how these dogs have changed and saved lives. -Melissa Schmelzer

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband George and I adopted 2 Pitbull puppies that were abandoned and the mother had died. When my husband talked to his internist, she said he should have a service dog. George was in the Gulf War and 16 years in the Marine Corps. He struggles with daily with a wide range of problems.

We took the puppies at 6 months of age to Chris and began the long journey of training, thinking neither would work out. We were wrong! Both dogs graduated and Layla who is George's primary dog is now on a flight to Chicago with him. She has flown to numerous states and goes to work with him every day. Semper K9 is a genuinely caring and professional organization. Chris has extensive years working with dogs of all kinds including in combat.

George and I highly recommend Semper K9!

4 Elizabeth Combs G.

Donor

Rating: 5

I had the amazing opportunity to foster Vegas while he was with Operation Paws for Homes. He was slated to be adopted but that fell through. Chris (founder of Semper K9) came out to my house to evaluate him for a chance to be a service dog. While Vegas won't graduate for some time, he is destined for greatness. Coming from a family with a lot of military background, I am proud to say I got to be a small part of Semper K9's mission.

Semper K9 is doing great things for dogs and Veterans! They know that just because a dog ends up in a shelter or rescue, it doesn't mean that the dog is broken or has no value. Thank you Semper K9 for giving these dogs a chance to service some of the greatest people out there, our Veterans!

3 vmocogni

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Such a great service to our veterans and to rescue dogs.
I love that they offer fun events to the community to get out their message.

4 Laurie Abramson L.

Donor

Rating: 5

I love Semper K9's concept of shelter to service. It is important to me that the general public is able to see that shelter dogs are not damaged- many are just misunderstood. Many are destined for greatness if just given the chance. Semper gives many dogs that chance. These dogs go on the help veterans that have paid a steep price for their service, many battling PTSD and mobility issues. They absolutely deserve the support that Semper K9 provides. Essentially saving a dog and a veteran. Keep up the great work!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a coach in training for this organization and they have been fabulous in giving me the support I need. They are extremely dedicated to their K9 Coaches, the dogs in their care and most importantly to the Veteran's they support. They have been a pleasure to work with and volunteer for.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What started out as a cool idea for me and my 13 year old son to do, has turned into a true passion and shared mission with Semper K9. We thought it would be great to have a puppy in the house and to learn more about training dogs. After working with Chris and Amanda, and seeing their commitment and dedication to training service dogs to assist Veterans, we cannot be more proud of the work we have done to support Semper K9's mission. Chris and Amanda care deeply about the Service Members they are assisting and the dogs they are training. When the service member is paired with his/her dog, it is life changing and in some cases, life saving, for the Veteran. We have had the privilege to meet some of the Veterans, hear their stories, and see the difference their service dog is making in their life. It's a beautiful thing and we look forward to being a part of this organization for years to come.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Semper K9 is a 501C non-profit that is veteran run. What I find remarkable is that this non-profit remains humble, yet completely focused on its commitments. Everyone affiliated with the group, from organizational leader to the veteran and their families, along with volunteers, are included to make the best outcome possible for the handler/dog team. There is great respect for all participants, from the top, to include the board of directors, coaches and volunteers to even the family members of volunteers and veterans, who often work side by side. The committments set out by Semper K9 are reached in a timely matter, fulfilling all expectations; doing so in a fun, relaxed (though committed) way. But ultimately, the goal is reached... a shelter or donated dog is trained to provide a service that will enhance or even "give back a new life" to a veteran who has been given a service dog free of charge.