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Registration opens for free service animal eye exams

Thousands of screenings will be done in May with the support of Stokes Pharmacy and the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.

Registration opens for free service animal eye exams
Dr. Nathan Kice, right, and a Prison Pet Partnership volunteer with service dogs in training.

Owners of service animals and working animals have until April 30 to register for free veterinary eye exams.

The 12th annual event is sponsored by the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists and Stokes Pharmacy.

Registering at www.ACVOeyeexam.org will connect an owner or handler with one of 300 board-certified veterinary ophthalmologists who volunteer to provide vision screenings for qualified dogs, horses, miniature horses, donkeys, alpacas and cats. Approved animals include those involved with guiding, hearing assistance, drug detection, police or military work, search and rescue, and therapy.

“It is an absolute feel-good experience to clear a healthy dog and provide peace of mind for their handlers,” said participating ophthalmologist Nathan Kice, DVM, DACVO. “Early diagnosis is key to treating ocular disease.”

The Tacoma, Washington, specialist has screened more than 300 service animals at no cost over the last nine years, the organizers reported.

More than 7,500 exams are expected to take place in May. Altogether, the ACVO/StokesRx National Service Animal Eye Exam has provided over 68,000 free eye exams since 2008.

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