Guide dogs, handicapped assistance animals, detection dogs, therapy animals, and search and rescue dogs selflessly serve the public. To honor these animals and their work, the American College of Veterinary Opthalmologists (ACVO) will offer free eye exams in the month of May, to screen service animals who dedicate their lives to serving the public.
Now in it’s 8th year, this month-long event will see about 260 board certified veterinary opthalmologists across the U.S. and Canada caring for these special dogs- with no expenses incurred by their owners.
WHAT VETERINARY OPHTHALMOLOGISTS LOOK FOR DURING THE EXAM:
During the complete ocular exam, the veterinary ophthalmologists utilize their specialized equipment to look for problems including: redness, squinting, cloudy corneas, retinal disease, early cataracts and other serious abnormalities. Early detection and treatment are vital to these working animals.
HOW TO REGISTER:
Register online at www.ACVOeyeexam.org before April 30th. Animals must be “active working animals” that were certified by a formal training program or organization or are currently enrolled in a formal training program. The certifying organization could be national, regional or local in nature. Once registered online, the owner/agent will receive a registration number and will be allowed access to a list of participating ophthalmologists in their area. Then they may contact a specialist to schedule an appointment. Appointments will take place during the month of May. Times may vary depending on the facility and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
“Our hope is that by checking their vision early and often, we will be able to help a large number of service animals better assist their human friends,” says Stacee Daniel, Executive Director of the ACVO. Since the program launched in 2008, nearly 16,000 service animals have been examined. In addition to dogs, other service animals including horses and even a service donkey named Henry have received free sight saving exams!