Our Team

Joseph Bruzgul, DVM


Dr. Bruzgul grew up on a dairy farm in the Hudson Valley. He started his education at Cornell University where he graduated from Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine in 1975. His first job as a Veterinarian was in Snyder NY. He has lived here in Western New York ever since. He established Community Pet Care Hospital in 1988.

Dr. Bruzgul knew he wanted to be a Veterinarian around age 10. Watching his farm Veterinarian treat a sick cow and make it better left a lasting impression

He has been president of the Western New York Veterinary Society as well as President of the NYS Veterinary Society.

He has been blessed to have four sons, a daughter, and 9 grandchildren! His oldest son and his daughter are also Veterinarians. He is an avid golfer.


Nicholas Grundy, DVM


Dr. Grundy became a veterinary partner in January of 2021.

He went to school in Corpus Christi, Texas, at the Incarnate Word Academy. His undergraduate studies took place at and were completed at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas. Lastly, he attended  and completed Veterinary school at Ross University, and clinical rotations were completed at the University of Missouri.

Amber Schmigel, DVM


Dr. Schmigel has been a veterinarian with Community Pet Care Hospital since June of 2021.

Dr. Schmigel was born and raised in North Tonawanda, NY. She attended veterinary school at Ross University, and graduated in May 2021. She also underwent a year clinical at Iowa State University. Her undergrad was at SUNY Cobleskill Animal Science where she obtained her Bachelor of Science.

Outside of work, Dr. Schmigel lives with her dog Ting who is an island mixed breed from St. Kitts. She loves to be outside and enjoying the sun with her dog. She also enjoys traveling, hiking, and spending times with her friends and family. Dr. Schmigel is also a huge football fan, her favorite team being the Buffalo Bills!

Katie Ernst

Licensed Veterinary Technician

Katie is the Head Licensed Veterinary Technician at Community Pet Care and has been with us since June of 2008.

She was born, raised, and still lives in Buffalo, New York, and attended the Medaille College Veterinary Technology Program in 2008.

Outside of work, her personal interests include music, camping, The Bills, traveling, and snacks. Katie’s family consists of her husband Jeff, and their daughter Leah, dog Barley, cats Bruce & Bucz (Butch).

Pilar Benner

Licensed Veterinary Technician

Pilar is a Licensed Veterinary Technician who has been with us since June of 2012.

Pilar was born in Buffalo, NY raised in Hamburg and is currently living in West Seneca where she bought her Grandmother’s house. She attended the Medaille College Veterinary Technology Program and graduated in 2012.

Ever since she was a little kid, she had always wanted to be a veterinarian. She enjoys being a  veterinary technician and knew that this was the right career choice for her because she would rather get her hands dirty rather than call the shots.

Outside of work, Pilar enjoys being outside and going to her cottage in the finger lakes with her husband JT, son Enzo, Two Dogs: Luke Triwalker & Bandit, Three cats: Skylar, Noir & Willy. She is also a sports fan and likes the Bills and Bandits.

Jessica Gerace

Veterinary Technician

Jessica is a Veterinary Technician who has been with us since July of 2020.

Jessica was born and raised in Buffalo. She studied at Medaille College for 2 years. 

Helping animals has always been something that she feels passionately about and has always tried to involve herself with in any way possible. Her belief is that “Saving one animal won’t change the world, but it will change the world for the one animal.” 

Her household consists of her fiance and her 10-year-old french bulldog, Zoe. Her dream is to move into a house so that she can expand her family with more dogs!

AJ Jones

Veterinary Technician

AJ is a Veterinary Technician who has been with us since July of 2020.

Originally from Syracuse, NY they moved to Buffalo, NY in 2017 and graduated from Medaille in 2018.

AJ has always believed in helping animals since they were very young. It wouldn’t be uncommon for AJ to bring home any stray they found along the way.

AJ’s family consists of 21 pets that include reptiles, cats and a dog. In their free time, AJ enjoys reading.

Jason Kaye

Veterinary Assistant

“In West Philadelphia born and raised on the playground is where I spent most of my days!”

Jason has been a veterinary assistant at Community Pet Care since May of 2019.

His fur family consists of two very spoiled kitties, Mia & Luna. He’s also a huge Eagles fan and enjoys watching football.

Justin Williams

Veterinary Assistant

Justin was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. He graduated from John F. Kennedy High School

He loves some Buffalo sports (Bills, Sabres) and has a dog, Linus and a cat, Moira. He enjoys playing video games and really enjoys history.

Carolyn Howard

Veterinary Assistant

Carolyn has been a veterinary assistant since 2019 and has been with Community Pet Care Hospital since February 2022.

She enjoys watching documentaries, swimming, and hiking. She’s also a pet parent herself, having grown up with dogs and now owning one tuxedo cat named Blossom.

Judy Berst


Judy has been a receptionist with Community Pet Care Hospital since 2015.

She started her career in the veterinary field off working for Dr. Bruzgul back in September of 1985 at the Buffalo Small Animal Hospital.

In her free time, Judy enjoys bingo, reading and working!

Veterinarian in Lackawanna, NY

Lydia Bigaj


Lydia is a groomer here at Community Pet Care Hospital and she has been with us since January 2021.

Lydia is a local Lackawanna resident and went to the High School. She also attended Erie 1 Boces where she obtained an Animal Science and Grooming degree. She enjoys working in the veterinary industry and loves waking up every morning to come in and work with the animals.

In her free time, Lydia enjoys barrel racing, frisbee golf, and hiking.