Brookhaven Animal Hospital

Full Service Animal Hospital

Georgia Veterinarian

Atlanta Veterinarian

Brookhaven Veterinarian


Pet Boarding

Brookhaven Animal Hospital is a full service animal hospital providing a wide range of medical services including, but not limited to, soft-tissue and oral surgery and preventative dental care.

  • Vernon Woods Animal Hospital (VWAH)
    270 Vernon Woods Drive NE
    Atlanta, Ga. 30319
    Phone: (404) 252-1641
    Fax: (404) 252-7401
    Visit Website »
  • North Springs Animal Clinic (NSAC)
    7541 Roswell Road
    Atlanta, Ga. 30350
    Phone: (770) 393-9889
    Fax: (770) 393-1975
    Visit Website »
Jay M. Empel, DVM | Andrew M. Empel, DVM Phone: (404) 237-0316 | Fax: (404) 262-1703 | Other Locations


  • Mon-Fri: 7:30am to 9:00pm
  • Sat: 7:30am to 12:30pm
  • Sun: 1:00pm to 5:00pm

What if I have an EMERGENCY?


We are a full service animal hospital providing a complete range of services for our patients.

It is our mission to provide the best possible medical and surgical care for your pet.

We recognize that you, the pet owner, are the most important link in the pet care chain so we strive to educate you in making informed decisions about your pet’s health care needs.


  • The American Kennel Club- Breed registry for purebred dogs in the United States. Working to advance the study, breeding, exhibiting, running and maintenance of purebred dogs.
  • The Humane Society of the United States - The world's largest animal protection organization, working for the welfare of domestic and wild animals.
  • - Search a vast database to find a homeless pet to adopt.
  • - Animal health information from the Veterinary Information Network, an online veterinary database and community.


We can't say enough good things about the doctors and staff at Brookhaven Animal Hospital. They are always kind, professional, and compassionate. Our pets actually seem to enjoy their visits.

- Katja Liendgens

We've been a client of Brookhaven Animal hospital for about 5 years. We have really been impressed by the care and attention our dogs have received when we take them in for shots, check-ups, etc. We were especially impressed with the care that was shown to both our dog and me and my husband when we had to make the difficult choice to have our 17 year old beagle put to sleep. [The staff] was very compassionate and [...] showed great concern and care in how they handled this very difficult time for us. We feel that we've found a great caregiver for our animals."

- Mary Kay Thompson

About Us

We are a full service pet hospital, providing a wide range of medical services including, but not limited to, soft-tissue and oral surgery and preventative dental care. We also offer quality pet boarding. We are located in the heart of Brookhaven (Atlanta). We pride ourselves on the personalized attention that we are able to give to all of our clients. Although the majority of our patients are dogs and cats, we are able to care for small mammals such as ferrets, rabbits, gerbils, hamsters, and guinea pigs.

Appointment Policy

We DO require that you make an appointment with one of our doctors Monday through Saturday.

We will see walk-in patients but please be aware that this may require waiting for a doctor to become available as walk-ins are served on a first come first served basis.

We also offer drop-off services where a pet can be left with us for the day to be examined by a veterinarian. Pick-up times can be arranged on a case-by-case basis.

Boarding Policy

We DO require reservations for boarding during the year and we ask that you please make a reservation with our front desk staff if you are planning to board your pet with us over a holiday (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s) as early as possible. We tend to fill up quickly, so the sooner, the better! Runs for larger dogs are in high demand.

Holiday No-show Policy: If a reservation is made for a pet but the pet does not board, a credit card will be charged for a portion of the boarding fees. Please call if you no longer need our services on Holidays!!

Payment Policy

We require payment in full at the time that services are rendered. We accept cash, checks, major credit cards (Discover, MasterCard, VISA, America Express), and traveler’s checks.

Major Credit Cards

Pre-surgical policy

Please bring your pet in to the hospital before 9:00am. There is someone here to check you in as early as 8:30am. A technician or your pet’s veterinarian will discuss the procedure and the risks with you as well as answer any questions.

FAQs for Surgery Patients

  • What do I need to do at home before a surgical procedure?
  • No food after midnight the day before surgery. Pets may have water up until 7:00am the day of surgery and then their water bowl needs to be removed.
  • What time do I need to drop off my pet?
  • Please be here by 9:00am. A technician or your doctor will meet with you to discuss the procedure further or answer any questions.
  • When can my pet go home?
  • Time of discharge will vary with both the procedure and the patient. Most pets will need to spend one night in the hospital.
  • Is it absolutely necessary to do the pre-operative blood work?
  • Yes. Running blood work prior to anesthesia will alert your doctor to potential anesthetic complications (liver, kidney disease, dehydration) and allow him/her to make adjustments to anesthetic protocols. Undergoing anesthesia without blood work puts your pet at greater risk of complications or even anesthetic death.

Hospitalized Patients

Patients that are hospitalized with us overnight are checked on in the evening by a veterinarian.


Dr. Jay Empel Dr. Erica Desai
Dr. Andrew Empel Dr. Zak Vrono
Dr. Erin Horner Other Staff
Dr. Jay M. Empel

Dr. Jay M. Empel

Dr. Jay Empel grew up in Montgomery, Alabama. As a child he raised Manchester Terriers and his determination to take care of his puppies inspired him to become a veterinarian. He obtained his undergraduate degree from The University of Georgia in 1966 and his doctorate degree in veterinary medicine from Auburn University in 1970. In 1973 he founded Brookhaven Animal Hospital with Dr. Ray Dunahoo. Since that time he has enjoyed watching it grow from a 2-doctor and 1–secretary practice to a practice employing over thirty people, including seven doctors. He currently serves as medical director of VWAH. He loves the personal relationships that he has been able to foster with both employees, clients and patients. He has special interests in internal medicine, dermatology, dentistry, and some orthopedic procedures.

Dr. Empel has been married to Elise for over thirty years. They have three children (Andrew, Ivy and Ashley)—two of which are also veterinarians! When not at the clinic he enjoys spending time with his family, exercising, playing sports and watching football. He shares his home with a very loveable golden retriever, Kylie.

Dr. Andrew M. Empel

Dr. Andrew M. Empel

Dr. Empel was born and raised in Atlanta. As a child he was inspired to become a veterinarian by his father and his experiences working at Brookhaven Animal Hospital. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Florida in 1996 and graduated from Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2000. In July of the same year he joined his dad at Brookhaven Animal Hospital.

Dr Empel has special interests in internal medicine, dermatology, and orthopedics. In his free time he enjoys attending sporting events and participating in team sports, skiing, boating and spending time with his Golden retriever, Taylor.

Dr. Erin Hernandez

Dr. Erin Horner

Dr. Erin Horner grew up in the Atlanta area and is a graduate of Marist High School. She graduated in 2004 from the University of Georgia (GO DAWGS!) where she rode for the NCAA Varsity Equestrian Team. She then continued on at UGA and earned her DVM in 2008. She has a special interest in animal rescue and donates much of her free time to working with Labrador Friends of the South. Her other professional interests include surgery and geriatric medicine.

In her free time, Dr. Horner enjoys spending time with her family, including her husband and fur-kids: Mason, Reese, Joey, Clark and Wonton. She also enjoys hiking, horseback riding, and anything outdoors.

Dr. Erica Desai

Dr. Erica Desai

Dr. Erica Desai was born and raised in Houston, Texas. She received her doctorate in veterinary medicine from Texas A&M University (WHOOP!) Upon graduation in 2005, Dr. Desai practiced in Dallas, Texas at a small animal clinic. Dr. Desai joined Brookhaven Animal Hospital in 2010. Her transition from being a Texan to a Georgian has been just "peachy!" Dr. Desai and her husband live in Decatur with their 2 daughters. In her spare time, she enjoys running half marathons, traveling, and eating out. Dr. Desai’s philosophy about practicing veterinary medicine is as follows: be patient, be practical, and be personal!

Dr. Zak Vrono

Dr. Zak Vrono

Dr. Zak Vrono grew up in Atlanta and graduated from Riverwood High School. He received his undergraduate degree in Animal Science from the University of Georgia in 2006. Dr. Vrono graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2012. His professional interests include internal medicine and dermatology.

Dr. Vrono shares his home with his wife, their son, and their dog Vicki. In his free time, Dr. Vrono enjoys spending time with friends and family, fly fishing, and spending time outdoors.

Hospital Administrator

  • Sandy B, CVPM


  • Carlesha C
  • Chelsea R
  • Shaunna S
  • Liz M
  • Cassie P
  • Ashley W


  • Bobby T
  • Kelly R
  • Marissa H
  • Ester C
  • James G
  • Cleon P
  • Rachel J
  • Marissa M
  • Jonathan F

Front Desk

  • Eylse A
  • Linda G
  • Ashley E
  • Mary R
  • Belinda S
  • Emma C
  • Tyndale T
  • Katie B
Home About Us Our Services Pet Care Contact Us
205 Town Blvd Suite 210A | Atlanta, Ga. 30319 | Phone: (404) 237-0316 | Fax: (404) 262-1703
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