AVCVA Dr. Heather Brookshire Untamed Spirit Free Eye Screening for Service and Therapy Animals 2019(Virginia Beach, Va,  June, 2016) —  In addition to their work with service animals, the AVCVA staff also volunteers their time and expertise in caring for the horses of Untamed Spirit, a Virginia Beach non-profit therapeutic and educational riding program with the purpose of providing, promoting and supporting equine assisted activities for individuals who have mental, physical, emotional, and social or learning disabilities. Eye problems are common in horses, due to the prominence of their eyes and their environmental conditions. For the past five years, Dr. Heather Brookshire has examined the organization’s therapy horses, even performing laser surgery on Ben to deflate what’s known as a “cystic corpora nigra” which was impairing vision in his one visual eye. Ben has since passed away, but was previously the oldest, gentlest and most experienced horse on the farm, and this surgery gave him improved vision for the remainder of his life. “Dr. Brookshire understands that the horses are part of our family, and I am so grateful that she’s been able to come out to the farm for the screenings,” said Barb Ford, MA, NCC, who owns and operates Untamed Spirit. Knowing the horses are cared for frees up resources and time, so that Ford can focus on the group’s mission to enrich the lives of people with special needs. “What Dr. Heather and her staff are doing, it’s a wonderful gift.”