VCA HOLLYWOOD ANIMAL HOSPITAL TO OFFER FREE SIGHT SAVING EYE EXAMS FOR SERVICE ANIMALS ON SUNDAY MAY 22, 2016
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 9th 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 22th 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 15th 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.
“A lot of little things can be missed without all of the proper equipment. Early detection of problems and treatment is vital to the success of these working animals," said Dr. Swinger.
Noah, a Labrador Seeing Eye dog, was seen by Dr. Swinger during the 2015 Free Eye Event. Eighty-percent blind, Fernando Castillo, is retired and says the cost of veterinary care can strain his budget but his daily routine is intertwined with Noah's health.
"Only one of us can be blind," Castillo jokes!
HOW TO REGISTER FOR THE 2016 EVENT:
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 1st at www.ACVOeyeexam.org. 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 the Hollywood community for over 68 years. We have a commitment to the pet community and we could not be happier to partner with Dr. Swinger and Animal Eye Guys once again to provide this service.”
Dr. James Herrington l VCAHAH l Medical Director
"It is truly an honor to provide exams for animals that so selflessly provide support to their people and communities."
Dr. Robert Swinger l Animal Eye Guys l Owner
About ACVO Free Eye Exams
Since the program launched in 2008, nearly 45,000 Service Animals have received free screening eye exams, over 7,000 in 2015 alone. The event started when ACVO recognized the good that was already being done by many members; the majority of whom were providing similar free exams across the country. By combining and expanding these individual events, ACVO was able to create more of an impact.
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 sponsored by ACVO® and Stokes Pharmacy, as well as several generous industry sponsors, and volunteer ophthalmologists. Participating ophthalmologists volunteer their services, staff and facilities at no charge to participate in the event.
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 http://www.acvoeyeexam.org for more information.
About the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists®
The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists® (ACVO®) 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 successfully complete a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, a one-year internship, a three-year ACVO® approved residency and pass a series of credentials and examinations. For more information, please visit www.ACVO.org.
About Stokes Pharmacy
Stokes Pharmacy is a national, full-service compounding pharmacy specializing in the art and science of the custom formulation of prescription medicines for humans and animals. Leading the way in innovation, Stokes invites veterinarians to prescribe compounded medications online securely, quickly, and accurately via iFill, a cloud-based prescription management system. For more information, visit stokesrx.com.
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 www.ACVO.org.