During the 2017 Maryland Legislative Session, Senate Bill 441
created the Maryland Veterans Service Animal Program and Fund in the
Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs.
The bill was approved by Governor Hogan May 4 and took effect July 1, 2017.
In 2019, Senate Bill 105 altered the definition of nonprofit training entity for purposes of the program
to include entities which provide equine therapy to eligible veterans. The bill was approved by Governor Hogan and took effect June 1, 2019.
The Program educates veterans and the community about Maryland based service and support dog programs and the benefits such dogs may provided to veterans living with a disability. The Program also provides information to veterans and the community about equine therapy programs.
The Program also establishes the Maryland Veterans Service Animal Program Fund in the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs. Donations to the fund will be disbursed by the Department to participating service animal programs to reimburse for costs associated with training and placing a service dog with a military veteran. Disbursements will also be made, assuming funding is available, to equine therapy programs serving veterans.
For veterans seeking a service animal-
If you are interested in learning more about guide and service dogs,
visit ‘Guide and Service Dogs’ on the MDVA website.
For veterans seeking equine therapy, check back soon for participating programs.
For more information on therapeutic riding visit:
Participating Service Animal Programs-
Hero Dogs, Inc.
located in Brookeville, Maryland, “improves quality of life for our nation’s heroes by raising, training, and placing service dogs
and other highly skilled canines, free of charge with lifetime support of the partnerships.”
Learn more about Hero Dogs, Inc. here.
Warrior Canine Connection (WCC),
located in Boyds, Maryland, utilizes a “Mission Based Trauma Recovery model to help recovering
Warriors reconnect with life, their families, their communities, and each other”.
Learn more about WCC’s program here.
Fidos for Freedom, Inc.,
located in Laurel, MD, “enhances the quality of life for people in the Washington-Baltimore Metropolitan community
by providing specially trained hearing dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs”.
Learn more about Fidos for Freedom, Inc. here.
If you have questions related to the Maryland Veterans Service Animal Program
or about participating service animal or therapeutic riding programs,
please contact the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs at 410-260-3838 or 410-260-3842.
For organizations seeking to participate in the program-
Basic qualifications to participate in the Maryland Veterans Service Animal Program include:
Tax exempt by the IRS (501(c)3)
Trains service dogs for use by Maryland veterans or
Provides equine therapy and is a professional accredited or certified program (PATH Premier Member Center Accreditation or Eaqala Certified)
Selected by the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs to participate
If you have questions related to participating in the Maryland Veterans Service Animal Program,
please contact Dana Burl, Outreach Director
410-260-3842 or email@example.com
Maryland Veterans Service Animal Program Forms:
For individuals or organizations seeking to make a donation to the program:
Donations are accepted by check or online by credit card.
Checks must be payable to the Maryland Veterans Service Animal Program Fund and mailed to:
Dana Burl, Director
Outreach and Advocacy Program
Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs
16 Francis Street, Fourth Floor
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
**PLEASE NOTE ON THE CHECK IF YOU WISH TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS, IF NOT NOTED YOUR NAME WILL BE REFLECTED AS A DONOR ON THE MDVA WEBSITE**
Credit card donations may be made by going to:
July 2017 to September 2018 Donors