Animal Vision Center of Virginia to provide free eye screenings for Hampton Roads area assistance animals

Sign up in April for appointments in May

(Hampton Roads, Va., March 20, 2024) – Since opening Animal Vision Center of Virginia in 2015,  Dr. Heather Brookshire has offered free eye-screening exams year-round for service and working animals in Hampton Roads. She has a passion for these furry companions that assist people with daily living needs, as well as working animals that support police and rescue operations with their important jobs.

Beginning in April, however, Brookshire ramps up the outreach even more, by donating her screening services to the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO)’s National Service Animal Eye Exam event in May.

Through ACVO’s program, veterinary ophthalmologists provide free ocular screening eye exams to qualified service and working animals each May for those who register the animals for appointments in April. ACVO diplomates, like Brookshire, donate their staffing, facilities and time to perform the exams in support of the outreach.

“This is a wonderful program that benefits registered service animals that are trained to assist people with visual, hearing and medical impairments and working animals that help police and military units sniff out drugs, assist in search-and-rescue operations and comfort patients in therapeutic scenarios,” said Brookshire.

During the screening appointment, Brookshire will examine the animal’s eyes to determine if there are any abnormalities and screen for sight-threatening conditions such as retinal disease, cataracts or glaucoma. The aim is to identify ocular problems early and to prevent or delay progression of an ocular abnormality. Sedation is not required, nor is the exam painful or stressful to the animal. The appointment takes approximately 10-25 minutes.

Registration will be open April 1-30 for scheduling the May screening appointments. Call Animal Vision Center of Virginia at 757-749-4838.

To qualify for the exam, service animals must be active working animals, certified by a formal training program or organization or currently enrolled in a formal training program.

Animal Vision Center of Virginia has practices in Chesapeake and Virginia Beach. For details about the free service animal eye screenings, call 757-749-4838 or visit

Media Contact: Elizabeth Evans, [email protected] | 757-705-7153


Service and Working Animal Facts

Dr. Heather Brookshire performs equine eye exam