Vernon Woods Animal Hospital

Full Service Animal Hospital

Georgia Veterinarian

Atlanta Veterinarian

Sandy Springs Veterinarian


Pet Boarding

Pet Grooming

Vernon Woods Animal Hospital is a full service animal hospital providing a full range of medical services, including soft-tissue, orthopedic and oral surgery, preventative dental care, dental x-rays, chemotherapy, and ultrasound.

  • North Springs Animal Clinic (NSAC)
    7541 Roswell Road
    Atlanta, Ga. 30350
    Phone: (770) 393-9889
    Fax: (770) 393-1975
    Visit Website »
  • Brookhaven Animal Hospital (BAH)
    205 Town Blvd Suite 210A
    Atlanta, Ga. 30328
    Phone: (404) 237-0316
    Fax: (404) 262-1703
    Visit Website »
Jay M. Empel, DVM | Andrew M. Empel, DVM Phone: (404) 252-1641 | Fax: (404) 252-7401 | Other Locations


  • Mon-Fri: 7:30am to 6:00pm
  • Sat: 7:30am to 12:30pm
  • Sunday - Closed

What if I have an EMERGENCY?


As a full service hospital, providing a full range of medical services, grooming and boarding, our mission is to provide the best possible medical and surgical care for your pets. We recognize that you, the pet owner, are the most important link in the pet care chain so we strive to educate you to make informed decisions about your pet’s health care needs.


American Animal Hospital AssociationVernon Woods Animal Hospital was established in 1973. We have been an accredited member of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) since 1984.

AAHA sets high standards for veterinary care so only a small percentage of animal hospitals are able to achieve accreditation. To maintain our status, we are routinely evaluated to make sure that our facilities, equipment and protocols are of the highest quality.

We have eight veterinarians on staff and offer a complete range of services—medical, surgical, boarding, and grooming.


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

- Katja Liendgens

We've been a client of Vernon Woods 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 hospital, providing a full range of medical services, including soft-tissue, orthopedic and oral surgery, preventative dental care, dental x-rays, chemotherapy, and ultrasound. We also offer quality pet boarding and professional grooming.We are located in the heart of Sandy Springs (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 request that you make an appointment with one of our doctors Monday through Friday. We will see walk-in patients but please be aware that this may require waiting for a doctor to become available.

We do not take appointments for Saturdays. Patients are seen on a first come first serve 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

Although we do not require reservations for boarding during most of the year, 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). 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 8:30am. There is someone here to check you in as early as 7:30. 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 8:30 am. 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. Andrew Empel Dr. Tracy Prescott
Dr. David Murphy Dr. Anne Marie Pollard Dr. Vivian Wen
Hospital Managers Veterinary Technicians Front Desk
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 Vernon Woods Animal Hospital (VWAH) 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 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 Vernon Woods 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 Vernon Woods 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. Tracy Prescott

Coming Soon...

Dr. David Murphy

Coming Soon...

Dr. Anne Marie Pollard

Dr. Anne Marie Pollard

Dr. Pollard joined Vernon Woods Animal Hospital in 2010. She grew up in Little Falls, NY on a working Holstein dairy farm where she discovered her love for animals. She relocated to Georgia in 1995, finished high school and attended the University of Georgia for her undergraduate degree and Veterinary School. She had a special interest in dermatology, surgery, dentistry and behavior.

In her free time Dr. Pollard enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter Olivia. She shares her home with a Boston terrier, Oscar; an American Bulldog mix, Taji and two cats, Sam and Oreo. She enjoys going out to dinner with friends, reading and rooting for the Georgia Bulldogs!

Dr. Vivian Wen

Dr. Vivian Wen

Dr. Vivian Wen joined Vernon Woods Animal Hospital in July 2011. She grew up in New York City and earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from New York University in 2006. Dr. Wen graduated from the University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine in 2010. She went on to complete a one-year small animal rotating internship at Georgia Veterinary Specialists in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Wen has special interests in veterinary animal behavior as well as surgery.

Apart from her work life, her interests include camping, hiking, and board games. Her personal goal is to try cuisine from all over the globe, one country at a time. When she returns home she loves to hang out with her cat, Moo and rambunctious Husky, Mika.

Hospital Manager

  • Cindy Martin

Front Desk

  • Belinda S
  • Mary R
  • Melissa H
  • Emma C
  • Tyndale Turner

Veterinary Technicians

  • Chelsea R
  • Ashley W
  • Carlesha Crawford
  • Priscilla Hackney
  • Samantha B
  • Cassie P
  • Shanna Sessoms
  • Diane Smith
  • Trisha Sweetser
  • Jonathan F
  • James G
  • Rachel J
  • Ester C
Home About Us Our Services Pet Care Contact Us
270 Vernon Woods Drive NE | Atlanta, Ga. 30328 | Phone: (404) 252-1641 | Fax: (404) 252-7401
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