The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO), in conjunction with Stokes Pharmacy and additional sponsors and nonprofit supporters, provides annual free eye exams for qualifying assistance and working dogs. The exams are offered by ACVO members who choose to participate, voluntarily giving their time and office resources to this philanthropic endeavor.
These professional screening and wellness ocular examinations are offered in May every year. Approximately 7,500 are performed annually all across the US, Puerto Rico, and Canada. Participation requires registration during open enrollment, which runs from April 1 through April 30 each year. Learn more about animal qualifications and register here.
All three classes of assistance dog, including guide dogs, hearing dogs, and service dogs, are eligible for this free veterinary eye exam. In addition, working dogs, including police dogs, military dogs, drug-detection dogs, search-and-rescue dogs, and therapy dogs, are also eligible. Dogs must have formal training to qualify, and written proof of this training must be provided at your appointment.
Puppies who are at least 3 months old at the time of examination are also eligible, providing they’re already in a recognized assistance dog or working dog training program. However, this excludes puppies who are therapy dogs in training.
After registering, you receive a registration confirmation number and a list of participating veterinary clinics near you. Contact the clinic to schedule your complementary appointment, and have your confirmation number on hand when getting in touch. Appointment options vary based on availability at individual clinics.
Assistance and working animals are generally expected to be healthy. If any follow-up care is needed based on findings at the ACVO/StokesRx Free National Service Animal Eye Exam, it will not be provided free of charge.