Service Dogs in the Tri-State Area to Receive Free Sight Saving Eye Exams

April 10, 2012 by Tails Magazine in Lifestyle with 0 Comments

CARES takes part in the ACVO®/Merial® National Service Dog Eye Exam Event. Registration begins April 1st for May 2012 event.

Langhorne, PA – “A service dog having sharp, clear eyesight is one of the most important elements”, says Gina King of Bristol and a puppy raiser with Canine Companions for Independence. “They have to have clear vision to be able to work with those with disabilities and to be able to fully make up for whatever capabilities are challenged with their owner. It is critical to have service dog eyesight screened and checked.”  King would know. She had a free eye exam for service dog Tinkerbell in 2010 at the Center for Animal Referral and Emergency Services (CARES), in Langhorne, PA.   She  is caring for another service dog-in-training and plans on getting him screened at this year’s event.

CARES is teaming up with the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) to launch the 5th annual ACVO/Merial National Service Dog Eye Exam Event in the month of May.  Dr. Robert Peiffer, a board certified veterinary ophthalmologist at CARES will provide free eye exams to eligible dogs throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Eligible dogs include guide dogs, handicapped assistance dogs, police detection dogs and search and rescue dogs. Dr. Peiffer’s participation is part of a national effort of more than 200 board certified veterinary ophthalmologists in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico who will provide free sight-saving eye exams to thousands of service dogs.

“In these exams, we hope to identify any health issues in their early stages,” says Dr. Peiffer.  “Early detection and treatment are the keys to fast recovery.”


To qualify, dogs must be active “working dogs” that were certified by a formal training program or organization or currently enrolled in a formal training program. The certifying organization could be national, regional or local in nature. Specific service groups are listed on the website at ACVOeyeexam.org

Guardians/agents for the dog(s) must FIRST register the animal via an online registration form beginning April 1, at ACVOeyeexam.org. Registration ends April 30th.  Once registered online, the owner/agent can contact CARES directly to schedule an appointment, during the month of May.  Appointment dates and times are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.To learn more about and register for the ACVO®/Merial® National Service Dog Eye Exam Event, please visit ACVOeyeexam.org <http://www.acvoeyeexam.org/> .

About Dr. Robert Peiffer: An award winning veterinarian and published author, Dr. Peiffer is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, having earned his Bachelor of Science in 1969, his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1971 and a PhD in 1981.  He became board certified in veterinary ophthalmology in 1976 and has received the American Animal Hospital Association veterinarian of year award and life-time achievement awards from the American Veterinary Medical Association and the World Small Animal Veterinary Medical Association   He has served as President of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists, the American Society of Veterinary Ophthalmology and the International Society of Veterinary Ophthalmology. Dr. Peiffer is a member of CARES’ full-time staff.

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