National Service Animal Eye Exam Month
Service animals are everything to the people who they live with and assist. So, to help service animals who selflessly make the lives of so many people easier, the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) declared the month of May as national service animal eye exam month. Their 10th annual eye exam event will be held this year.
Once the ACVO started to recognize that its board certified members were providing free exams to service animals across the country, they decided to expand on the idea and make it an occasion, called the ACVO/StokesRx National Service Animal Eye Exam Event. Now, any and all exams are performed by members of the ACVO who choose to participate, which continues to gain more participants each year. Along with the financial and promotional support of the ACVO’s partner, Stokes Pharmacy, the event has grown enough to involve international members for the first time this year. With everyone involved, the goal through the month of May is to provide as many free eye exams to qualified service and working animals as possible across the U.S, Canada and Puerto Rico.
Since 2008, 52,000 working and service animals have received free exams through the program. Every year, about 8,000 animals take part in the program to better their vision including search and rescue, disability assistance, guide, bomb/military and also certified, current registered therapy animals. Likewise, about 270 veterinary ophthalmologists in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico get involved in the program every year. This service doesn’t’ just help animals eyesight, but their owners finances too, $2,600,000 in total over the past ten years. That is a lot of money and animals that the ACVO has helped so far, and they are hoping that more people will learn of what they do and what their hard working members can accomplish together.