Registration open for annual eye exam event for service dogs


ACVO and Stokes Pharmacy preparing for 10th annual screening to take place in May.

Photo courtesy of the ACVOThe 10th annual American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO)/Stokes Pharmacy  National Service Animal Eye Exam Event will take place in veterinary clinics from May 1-31, according to a recent release from the event's organizers.

The event was originally prompted by ACVO's recognition that many of its board-certified ophthalmology specialists were providing free eye exams across the country. By expanding on these individual events and creating the annual event in 2008, the ophthalmologists have been able to perform more than 52,000 free eye exam screenings, the release states.

For the 10th anniversary, a record number of 290 veterinary ophthalmologists are expected to participate. Participating ophthalmologists volunteer their services, staff and facilities at no charge for service and working animals and their owners or agents to participate in the event.

“This year, we're excited to celebrate the 10th anniversary of this event with our partners,” says Stacee Daniel, executive director of the ACVO, in the release. “We are truly grateful that so many of these selfless animals have been seen and assisted free of charge by our veterinary ophthalmologists.”

Organizers are hoping to provide as many free screening exams as possible to eligible service and working animals across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico throughout the month of May. According to the release, service and working animals that may qualify include guide, disability assistance, detection, military and search-and-rescue dogs, as well as certified-current registered therapy animals.

To qualify, service and working animals must be “active working animals” certified by a formal training program or organization or currently enrolled in a formal training program. The certifying organization can be national, regional or local in nature. Owners or agents can register their animals via an online registration form. Once registered online, the owner or agent will receive a registration number and will be allowed access to a list of participating ophthalmologists in their area.

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