US Coins

Dogs could receive 2023 commemorative coin program

The service dogs trained by the group America’s VetDogs provide enhanced mobility and renewed independence for veterans who need it.

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Legislation was introduced for a three-coin commemorative program for 2023 recognizing working dogs in the military and their continued service after retirement from active duty.

The legislation, H.R. 5232, was introduced Sept. 10 in the House by Rep. Patrick T. McHenry and referred to the Committee on Financial Services for further consideration.

The bill seeks to honor former military working dogs who were adopted into further service in explosive detection for police forces, and work as service dogs for veterans and families, and more. The bill’s goal is in part to raise funds for training these dogs as they move into new lives.

The legislation seeks the production and release, in combined Proof and Uncirculated finishes, of up to 50,000 gold $5 coins, 500,000 silver dollars and 750,000 copper-nickel clad half dollars.

Surcharges of $35 for each $5 coin, $10 for each dollar and $5 for each half dollar — after the U.S. Mint recoups all of its production and associated costs — are to be paid to America’s VetDogs to support dog care and service dog training, dog instructor training, and expenses for service dog clients.

The United States had an unofficial canine military presence during the Civil War and World War I, but military K-9s did not officially become recognized until World War II on March 13, 1942.

During the height of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, nearly 2,500 K-9s were deployed by the U.S. military.

In 2000, legislation was passed allowing many of these retired K-9s to be adopted by law enforcement agencies, former handlers and other care groups for continued service to those with disabilities who need the service that working dogs can provide.

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