There are times when even the most devoted caregivers need a little TLC—even furry ones with four legs. May is National Service Animal Eye Examination Month, and Animal Vision Center of Virginia will perform free eye screenings for local service animals in May for owners who schedule an appointment before April 30, 2023.
“People with hearing, visual and mobility impairments and mental health conditions enjoy the vast benefits of having service dogs assist them with daily living,” said Dr. Heather Brookshire, a board-certified animal ophthalmologist and owner of Animal Vision Center of Virginia. “Their well-being depends on these animals, and screening eye examinations help detect early-stage ocular diseases.”
In addition to helping people with daily living tasks, service and working dogs also help police and military units sniff out drugs, assist in search-and-rescue operations and comfort patients in therapeutic scenarios. Brookshire and her staff occasionally perform screenings offsite. Over the years they have examined police dogs and patrol horses with the City of Virginia Beach Police and Sheriff’s Departments and the horses of Untamed Spirit, a local therapeutic and educational riding program.