Seeing the Good in the Community – ‘Nacho Ordinary Eye Event’

For the 7th year, VCA Hollywood Animal Hospital (VCA HAH) and Animal Eye Guys (AEG) of South Florida participated in the “American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) National Service Dog Eye Exam” program.

“During the month of May, we do free service exams for any service animal, whether it’s those who are visually impaired, or those who are emotional support animals. A lot of dogs who are coming in today do programs around the schools and libraries for children, so it’s a big mix. I think the important thing is, we’re dealing with dogs that are out working for people — the police dogs, the service dogs, the therapy dogs,” explained Dr. Robert Swinger, Veterinary Ophthalmologist and Owner of Animal Eye Guys of South Florida

For over a decade, this program has offered free eye exams from Boarded Veterinary Ophthalmologists for pre-registered service animals throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Since it launched in 2008, over 16,000 service animals have been examined throughout the country. 

“These animals are going to the courts and working with children. They’re going to the nursing home and working with adults, hospitals with the sick. The National Service Dog Eye Exam program aims to give back to animals that give so much to the community,” added Swinger.

On May 5th, seventy-five service animals were brought in for the “Nacho Ordinary Eye Event” at VCA Hollywood Animal Hospital for sight-saving exams while Animal Eye Guys saw another eighteen throughout the month. Among the attendees on Cinco de Mayo, were community service animals from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Canines for Community Resilience, the Broward County Court House Canines, the Humane Society of Broward County Assisted Therapy Animals, the Memorial Regional Hospital Service Dogs, Custom and Border Control K9s, as well as private service animals such as seeing eye dogs, medical alert, and emotional support animals from organizations such as Vets, Lighthouse for the Blind, and Look Through My Eyes. Additionally, teammates from Look Through My Eyes’ blind baseball team arrived together to support their sight impaired teammates as their service animals saw the veterinarian.

“Having been in practice for over 75 years, we feel we are a part of our community’s history and therefore tethered to its future. Partnering with the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists and Animal Eye Guys seem the best way to support the service animals that support us,” exclaimed Linda Ream, Communications Coordinator VCA Hollywood.