handicapped assistance, detection, therapy, military and rescue animal owners
have until April 30 to sign up for a free eye exam
Illinois) April 2, 2013—Service animals, including guide dogs, handicapped
assistance animals, detection dogs, therapy animals, and search and rescue dogs,
selflessly give so much to the people they serve and the public. The American
College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) is giving back to these heroes by
offering free eye exams to service animals for the entire month of May.
“Service animals are one of the best
examples of the benefits that the human-animal bond brings to people, and they
need excellent vision to continue their important work,” explains Dr. Douglas
Aspros, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association. “That’s why
this annual free eye exam event is such a fantastic service to the community.
Early detection will help veterinarians protect and preserve the sight of these
amazingly talented animals.”
the sixth annual ACVO/Merial National Service DogEye Exam Event,
more than 250 board-certified veterinary ophthalmologists will donate their
skills to provide free screening eye examinations to service dogs across the
United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Service dog owners can register their
animals for free eye exams on the ACVO Web page: www.acvoeyeexam.org through April 30.
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.
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 have received free eye exams.
“Since the ACVO/Merial National Service Dog
Eye Exam Event launched in 2008, the ACVO has had the privilege of working with
military working dogs, animals that help secure our airports, an organization
providing psychiatric service dogs to soldiers coming home from Iraq and
Afghanistan, local fire, rescue and police agencies, and also individual
service animal that help people with disabilities,” explains Dr. Bill Miller, a
veterinary ophthalmologist with the ACVO. “That’s why, as one of the 250 veterinarians
who does the free exams, I enjoy this annual month-long event so much. These
animals are inspiring. Early detection and treatment are vital to these working
animals and the important work they do.”
ACVO/MerialNational Service Dog Eye Exam Eventis primarily sponsored by ACVO and Merial. Other non-profit supporters include
the American Veterinary Medical Association, most state veterinary medical
associations in the U.S. and Canada, the American Society of Veterinary Medical
Association Executives, and national service animal organizations.
qualify, 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. Owners/agents for the animal(s) must FIRST register the animal
via an online registration form at www.ACVOeyeexam.org. Registration ends April 30. 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.
For more information about the ACVO/Merial National Service
Dog Eye Exam Event, visit www.ACVOeyeexam.org or contact Audrey Strong at 877-703-3824 x107 or Audrey.Strong@FetchingCommunications.com.