Semper K9 Graduates Four Service Dog Teams
By Amanda Baity | Photos by Rob Jinks, Rob Jinks Photography
Local nonprofit, Semper K9 Assistance Dogs, celebrated the success of several of their service dogs in training with a graduation ceremony Thursday night at the Dale City Volunteer Fire Department Station 13. Three of their current 10 program dogs along with three maintenance training teams participated in the graduation ceremony sponsored by Covert Security.
“I’m so proud to be surrounded and involved with such a giving community,” said Christopher Baity, Executive Director. Sixty people were estimated to be in attendance at Semper K9’s first graduation ceremony including volunteers with Operation Paws for Homes, Semper K9 volunteers and family of the graduating teams. “Hundreds of people are involved with the training of these dogs whether they realize it or not. It starts with the rescue [Operation Paws for Homes] and continues to any person the dogs encounter during their training,” continued Baity.
Also in attendance was 51st House District Delegate Rich Anderson and 29th District Virginia Senator Jeremy McPike. “This organization is one of the best in a county full of great organizations.” said Anderson as he addressed the room.
“We are proud to be partners with Semper K9 and support all that they do for veterans,” said Angela McConnell, President of Northern Virginia Veterans Association. “The graduating teams have worked hard to get here and I am thankful to be part of this.”
Graduating service dogs included Norman, Mikey, Buster & Layla. Therapy dog graduate was a rescued St Bernard named Andi and Family Support Dog graduate was Zoe. Each of Semper K9’s dogs have a bio on their website to include information on their namesakes which a typically veterans.
Semper K9’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for disabled veterans and their families by providing them assistance dogs. Using rescued and donated dogs, they provide service dogs for psychiatric alerts and mobility challenges free of charge to wounded service members. To find out more about their mission please visit their website at www.semperk9.org.