Friday, April 24, 2015

April Patient of the Month- Skippy!!!!

We were first introduced to our April Patient of the Month when he was scheduled for rather routine procedure. But when we met him it was very clear that there was very little routine about him. His personality was awesome and his story, we thought was worthy to share. 

Born before his front legs were ‘complete’, this wee pup found a forever home quickly with a family that decided they knew just what to do= love him to pieces!!

Having to learn to walk upright, Skippy has never known life another way. Life is not always easy but he has a spirited and loving disposition and certainly seems happy.

Because of his breed and his basic anatomy, walking like this forever is not ideal. He has a skate – which he frankly does not love. “He wants to look out not up” said his mom. However, his family works continuously to find the proper ‘wheelchair’ or prosthetic care that will keep this wee one moving for many many years to come. 

We are pleased to share his triumph and recognize him as our Patient of the Month. We were inspired by this little Chihuahua and hope you are inspired by him too.

April Team Member of the Month- Rianner!!!

Happy Anniversary Rianner!!! This month we recognize and celebrate his one year anniversary at the VCAHAH!!

This anniversary acts as a reminder of the great job he has done for our team all year long as well as the Best Buddies International Program that introduced us to him.

Next month, we will all join Rianeer and Best Buddies in their Friendship Walk in Miami to help create more job opportunities like this in our city of Hollywood. 

We would like to pay forward the impact Rianner has had on our practice by participating in his event and recognize him as Team Member for this Month!!

If your would like to join our team for the Best Buddies Friendship Walk, visit 
to join or to make a donation. All donations to our team go to fund job growth to people with Intelectual Disablities in Hollywood!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Best Buddies International!!

Happy Anniversary Rianner!!! Just one year ago, Rianner joined the VCA HAH team as a Kennel Attendant. His primary responsibility lies in keeping the flow of fresh linens to our ever active prep and boarding areas.  It is a full time job some days and he never disappoints with the pride he brings to each task.    
What makes this anniversary even more special is that it also commemorates our hospital’s partnership with Best Buddies International. Just over a year ago, Anthony Shriver brought his pet to the HAH for a typical exam. What resulted was a conversation about his global volunteer movement-Best Buddies International.

In celebration of this partnership, the VCA HAH is proud to announce our participate in the Best Buddies Friendship Walk May 16th.  The Best Buddies Friendship Walk is the ‘latest and greatest’ life changing movement created by Best Buddies.  Taking place at

Museum Park
2015 State Walk Honoree: Holland & Knight

This event raises money to fund the Best Buddies state programs which provide one-to-one friendships, leadership development and integrated job opportunities for individuals with IDD.
Please visit our Walk page at: to learn more about this event, Best Buddies International and our team of Woof Riders and considering a donation to Best Buddies. Your generosity will create life-changing possibilities.

A brief history of our partnership with Best Buddies Inc.
In 1989, Anthony Shriver founded Best Buddies with the intention of creating opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Mr. Shiver saw our practice as a potential fit for integrated employment and introduced us to Rianeer.

Now, it took a little more than that simple introduction to be sure.  The Best Buddies organization came out and got to know us. We met their local ‘Big Man on Campus’-Ray and he gave our hospital a thorough exam. Working closely with our Hospital Management team they found opportunities that might fit a potential Best Buddies client and then came Rianner.

This incredible company has grown from a single original chapter to almost 1,900 middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide. There are Best Buddies participants in each of the 50 United States and in over 50 countries around the world. The Best Buddies organization provides secure rewarding jobs for people with IDD and we could not be more proud to be a part of their efforts and to specifically have Rianner on our team.

We look forward to joining other area business and supporter if Best Buddies in the Best Buddies Friendship Walk May 16th
Museum Park
2015 State Walk Honoree: Holland & Knight

This event raises money to fund the Best Buddies state programs which provide one-to-one friendships, leadership development and integrated job opportunities for individuals with IDD.

Best Buddies Friendship Walk
South Florida
Saturday, May 16 | Museum Park

2015 State Walk Honoree: Holland & Knight

Monday, April 13, 2015

2015 Free Sight Saving Exams for Service Animals


HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - (April 10, 2015) - VCA Hollywood Animal Hospital (VCA HAH) and Animal Eye Guys (AEG) of South Florida are proud to announce their participation in the ACVO National Service Dog Eye Exam program. Now in its 8th year, the program offers free eye exams for service and therapy animals during the month of May by more than 250 board certified veterinary ophthalmologists from around the United States (including Puerto Rico) and Canada.

Sunday, May 17th from 10a-4p, the VCA HAH will open its doors exclusively for these exams and host therapy animals from local individuals and community service organizations.

 Guardians and handlers of all qualified service animals are invited to visit the clinic on Sunday, May 17th for a free eye exam provided by Robert Swinger, D.V.M., Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologist.  Dr. Swinger will be checking for problems including redness, squinting, cloudy corneas, retinal disease, early cataracts and other serious abnormalities. “

“Early detection of problems and treatment is vital to the success of these working animals," said Dr. Swinger. "It is truly an honor to provide exams for animals that so selflessly provide support to their people and communities."

Mandy, a 4-year-old dachshund, who serves as a therapy dog in local assisted living facilities, took advantage of the 2014 event at VCA HAH. "I would not leave anything uncheck on her,” said her owner, Judy McCard “She is my child”.  Dr. Swinger gave Mandy a clean bill of health!  

To qualify for a free exam, animals must be active working animals such as guide dogs, handicapped assistance animals, detection dogs, therapy animals and search and rescue animals that have been 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 beginning April 1, 2015 at

Registration ends April 30th. Once registered online, the owner/agent will receive a registration number. They can then simply call (954) 826-8871 to schedule an appointment for the month of May. 

“Our practice has been serving this community for over 67 years. We could not be happier to partner with Dr. Swinger and once again provide this service.”
Dr. James Herrington l VCAHAH l Medical Director

About ACVO Free Eye Exams
 Since the program launched in 2008, nearly 30,000 Service Animals have received free screening eye exams, over 7,000 in 2014 alone. In addition to dogs, other service animals including a service donkey named Henry and our very own local HSBC’s miniature pony named, Lil’Man have received free sight saving exams.  

A sampling of groups served since the ACVO National Service Dog Eye Exam Event include: Transportation Security Agency (TSA) and military working dogs from Lackland Air Force Base in Texas; Puppies Behind Bars, 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 owners and handlers who rely on these amazing animals daily.  

The event is primarily sponsored by ACVO and generous industry support.  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 other national service animal organizations.   Visit for more information. 

About VCA Hollywood Animal Hospital
VCA Hollywood Animal Hospital has earned a solid reputation for offering the very best in veterinary medicine as well as the latest technological advances and therapies. Founded in 1947, VCA HAH features 21 veterinarians and more than 100 highly trained technical and support staff members. For more information about our practice, please visit or call 954.920.3556.

About Dr. Robert Swinger, ACVO
Dr. Robert Swinger completed his undergraduate work and received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Illinois in 2003.  After completing an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Veterinary Specialists of South Florida in Cooper City, he went on to complete both an ophthalmology internship in 2005 and residency in 2009 at the Animal Eye Specialty Clinics in Miami, Deerfield Beach, and West Palm Beach.  Soon thereafter, he joined the VCA Aurora Animal Hospital outside of Chicago and developed a successful ophthalmology service where he continues to actively consult.  In 2011, Dr. Swinger launched Animal Eye Guys and joined the Hollywood Animal Hospital veterinary team.  Dr. Swinger is board certified and a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.
In his work environment, Dr. Swinger enjoys teaching and taking active roles in the hospital’s internship program.  His special interests include surgical and medical management of glaucoma, cataract surgery, and corneal physiology.  Outside of the veterinary arena, Dr. Swinger enjoys spending time with his family; his pets (a poodle, Sophie and a pug, Chuck; an African Grey parrot, Paco; and several saltwater fish); and enjoys fishing, cooking, and traveling.

 About Humane Society of Broward County Animal Assisted Therapy Program 
The Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) program uses volunteers and their companion animals to provide social therapy to comfort children and adults with special needs or those experiencing life’s stresses.  In addition to reaching out to residents of senior retirement homes, hospitals, hospice, mental health facilities and children’s facilities they established their Wags & Tales Reading Program in 2003 which strives to strengthen reading skills in children throughout the community. Wags & Tales is a research based reading motivation program for children with reading difficulties. Certified Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) dogs and their handlers visit students at selected schools and libraries to help strengthen reading skills. For more information, please visit

About Canine Assisted Therapy, Inc. (“C.A.T.”) 
Canine Assisted Therapy, Inc. (“C.A.T.”) is a non-profit organization founded in 2009. “C.A.T” is dedicated to providing pet therapy to children and adults who have developmental and physical challenges as well as those who desire comfort and companionship of a loving pet. These Canine Assistants are a regular fixture at our Broward County Courthouse offering comfort to children as they face decision about their future in the judge’s chambers.

About the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists
The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists® is an approved veterinary specialty organization of the American Board of Veterinary Specialties, and is recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association.  Its mission is “to advance the quality of veterinary medicine through certification of veterinarians who demonstrate excellence as specialists in veterinary ophthalmology.” To become board certified, a candidate must complete a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, a one year internship, a three year approved residency and pass a series of credentials and examinations. For more information, please visit

Monday, April 6, 2015

Give Life Fundraiser for Animals!!!

An all to common theme in veterinary medicine comes when people find themselves in a situation where money is tight and a pet is sick. It could happen to anyone with a pet. You have always managed to give your family pet the medical care they deserve but then an unexpected circumstance occurs and you’re faced with vet expenses that are far beyond your reach. In other situations, a lost or homeless pet  is injured or abused and a good Samaritans wants to help- whether they can immediately afford it or not.

 Vets care for pets. They never want a pet to suffer. Often they are asked to give free supplies and services.  However, medical supplies, diagnostics and other expenses that ensure a practice continue to offer the finest medical care- all add up!

There are many organizations available to help. One such group is GIVE LIFE. Give Life has seen this challenge and wants to help. by providing assistance to pet owners to pay veterinary bills.     

Sunday April 19th from 2-5pm Join Give Life for some fun to raise money for area hospitals to provide funding for pet care programs. 

Other organizations that can assist owners in financial need is the Pet Fund  as well as GoForward and GoFundme that helps individuals establish fundraisers.