Sens. Kelly, Budd, Duckworth, and Tillis Introduce Working Dog Commemorative Coin Act

Today, United States Senators Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Ted Budd (R-NC), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and Thom Tillis (R-NC) introduced the bipartisan Working Dog Commemorative Coin Act. The bill would instruct the U.S. Mint to develop a commemorative coin series honoring the critical role working dogs play in our society while providing financial support to help raise and train service dogs for veterans.

All surcharges from the bill will go to America’s VetDogs to ensure that this organization can continue to provide these lifesaving animals to veterans and first responders with disabilities at no cost to the individual. The House version has been introduced by Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

“Service dogs play a critical role in supporting our military veterans long after they’ve left the battlefield. My family has seen the benefit a service dog can provide. Our dog, Nelson, was placed by America’s VetDogs to assist Gabby in her recovery and is still an important part of our family. Our bipartisan legislation works to provide the resources needed to raise, train, and provide service dogs to more veterans and first responders at no cost to them,” said Senator Kelly, a Navy combat veteran serving on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“We are honored to have been recognized for this unique opportunity during America’s VetDogs’ 20thAnniversary and appreciate the bipartisan support from Senators Ted Budd, Mark Kelly, Thom Tillis, and Tammy Duckworth, on The Working Dog Commemorative Coin Act. Not only will this bipartisan bill and commemorative coin represent the life-changing work service and military working dogs provide, it will also support America’s VetDogs to continue the mission of providing service dogs to veterans and first responders with disabilities, free of charge,” said John Miller, President & CEO of America’s VetDogs. 

“We all recognize the invaluable service that working dogs provide to our active-duty service members, veterans, and first-responders. These exceptional animals help our heroes enhance their mobility, their independence, and their lives. Not only is developing a commemorative coin a special way to honor the service of working dogs, but this bipartisan legislation creates a fiscally responsible pathway to help raise and train these amazing lifesaving animals,” Sen. Budd said in a statement.

“Working dogs are vital to the many Americans who rely on them, including our nation’s veterans. I am proud to join Senator Budd to introduce this legislation to honor our amazing working dogs and support America’s VetDogs,” Sen. Tillis said.

“Working dogs provide pivotal assistance for so many people from servicemembers and Veterans to folks with disabilities and more. I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan legislation to recognize our furry friends while helping provide support to organizations that train these service dogs so they’re ready to serve,” Sen. Duckworth said.

“From the battlefield to the home front, working dogs provide an invaluable service. Not only do these incredible animals serve alongside our troops and law enforcement, but they also assist wounded veterans when they return home. I’m proud to sponsor this bipartisan legislation to honor and support working dogs’ contributions,” Rep. McHenry said.  

“We have seen so many incredible success stories of service dogs helping veterans reintegrate into the social framework of their families and communities. As the demand for service dogs increases, this bipartisan recognition would support nonprofits like America’s VetDogs that provide lifesaving support for veterans with post-traumatic stress or physical limitations,” Rep. McGovern said. 

Read the full text of the bill HERE