Local vet gives free eye exams to service dogs

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The exam didn't take very long and it wasn't painful, but the eye exams given by one doctor are essential to these dogs' performance and their partners' safety.

"We want to do everything we can to keep these dogs as healthy as possible," said Dr. Bill Miller.

During the month of May, Miller saw service and therapy dogs free of charge.

When WREG went to visit him, he was looking at dogs who work for Tennessee Task Force One.

These dogs are called on in only the most catastrophic events.

"He finds people who are still alive after a building collapses," Miller explained.

WREG learned he is the only practicing Veterinary Ophthalmologist in the Mid-South.

Eight years ago, he founded a national initiative to assure the vision of service animals by offering free annual eye examinations.

The exams ensured that the dogs for Tennessee Task Force One are ready when it's time to respond, but Dr. Miller also saw Zoe who he said was on the job every day.

"That dog's vision is critical for her life," he said.

People WREG spoke to said it was an emotional and financial relief for the handlers when dogs like Bo and Buster received clean bills of health from Miller.

"Normally it would be very expensive for us to bring all of our dogs up and have it done," said one pet owner.

"They go into a situation with these guys confident that their dog's vision is acceptable and functional," Miller further explained.

Miller donated about $6,000 in services during the month of May.

In all, he saw 25 dogs for Tennessee Task Force One alone.

He said it's his way of giving back to the people and their partners who give so much.

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