The staff of The Center for Avian and Exotic Medicine celebrates the sacred bond between exotic pets and their owners. We strive to protect this relationship by nurturing an open, honest alliance with our clients and adhering only to the highest ethical and medical standards befitting these magnificent companions.
Alexandra WilsonAlexandra Wilson, DVM
, joined the practice in 2007. She received a B.A. in Neuroscience from Oberlin College and worked as a research scientist before pursuing veterinary medicine. Dr. Wilson studied at Ross University and Louisiana State University where she was able to work in one of the best exotic animal departments in the country. After completing her veterinary degree, Dr. Wilson became an associate veterinarian at a private practice in Washington State. In addition to her passion for exotic animal medicine, she also enjoys soft tissue and orthopedic surgery. Dr. Wilson is currently pursuing board certification in
reptilian and amphibian medicine. She shares her home with a naughty rabbit named Captain Larry and his girlfriend Lizzy.
Many of our valued clients have been coming to see us since we opened in 2004. They may remember our first veterinarian, Dr. Anthony Pilny, who worked with us for 3 years before going out to create exotic pet departments at such prestigious hospitals as the Animal Specialty Center in Yonkers and Veterinary Internal Medicine and Allergy Specialists. After many years of further refining his expertise, he has decided to come back to his roots and re-join us here at the Center for Avian and Exotic Medicine. We are thrilled to have him back and look forward to his joining our current team!
Anthony PilnyAnthony Pilny, DVM, ABVP (Avian) is a graduate of the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine. He completed an internal medicine and surgery internship at Florida Veterinary Specialists in Tampa and a residency in Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine and Surgery at the Animal Medical Center in New York City. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners certified in Avian Practice. Dr. Pilny has lectured nationally about exotic pet medicine and has published numerous articles and book chapters on birds and other exotic species. He also serves as an adjunct professor at LaGuardia Community College where he teaches avian and exotic pet medicine to prospective veterinary technicians. Dr Pilny is a member of the Assn of Avian Veterinarians, Assn of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians, Assn of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians, and The American Veterinary Medical Assn. Recently, Dr. Pilny was given the prestigious honor of becoming the National Medical Director of the House Rabbit Society. He shares his home with fifteen pet birds, a cat, and a snake.
Cyndi J. BrownCynthia J. Brown
, DVM Diplomat ABVP (Avian)
, started out in the veterinary profession as a technician. Her ambitious lifelong dream of becoming an avian veterinarian took her to Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine where she graduated in 1999. She then participated in a one year rotating surgical and medical internship at the Animal Medical Center in New York City. Upon completion of her internship, she was accepted into the Avian and Exotic pet medicine and surgery residency at there. She completed her residency in 2003 and remained on staff teaching interns, residents and technicians until 2005 when she accepted a position at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in New Jersey to create and develop their Avian and Exotics department. In 2008 Dr. Brown joined Ocean State Veterinary Specialists to develop a full service Avian and Exotics department in Rhode Island. After many years, she has decided to join us in New York City on a part-time basis; not just for her love of the city, but for the clients she spent so many years caring for.
Dr. Brown has been the president of the Mid Atlantic States Association of Avian Veterinarians, a journal column editor, has various publications on avian and exotic pet topics, and she lectures nationally and regionally to technicians and veterinarians. She has many pets of her own as well as a steady flow of transient foster pets. She currently has two Miniature Macaws, a Brown Throated Conure, a Scarlet Macaw, Mealy Amazon, and a Quaker parrot. She also has two Chihuahuas named Guppy and Dory and a new puppy named Crickett! The house is always noisy and full of activity – just the way she likes it.
Vincente Danilo Torres CastroVincente Danilo Torres Castro.
Danilo recently completed his veterinary studies at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain and successfully passed his medical boards there in November, 2011! In Spain however, Danilo found that his dreams of working with exotic pets is harder than he had hoped. There are few opportunities for veterinarians to learn about and work with exotics there, and while Danilo did gain tremendous experience as an intern at the Palmitos Park Zoo, a wildlife center in Venezuela, an exotics pet hospital on the Gran Canaria, and a veterinary center in Tenerife, he felt he still had a lot to learn. So, he found us and secured a year long internship with our vets! While he is not yet able to practice medicine here in the States, he will be a big part of our team as he keeps us all on our toes having to teach him everything we know! In Spain, Danilo shared his home with many exotic pets, including an Eclectus parrot named Nika, who he especially misses.
Veterinary Nursing Staff
Lorelei TibbetsLorelei Tibbetts, LVT
, has been with the hospital as a nurse and practice manager since it opened in 2004. Originally from Boston, she received her BA in journalism from Boston University. Lorelei’s lifelong love of animals, especially birds, eventually pulled her away from writing into the field of veterinary medicine. After graduating from the Veterinary Technology program at Mercy College in 2001, Lorelei has been working exclusively with birds and exotic pets. In addition to being an outstanding nurse with over 10 years experience, Lorelei’s special interest in exotic animals has allowed her to contribute to the field by teaching. She has been an adjunct teacher of avian and exotic medicine at a veterinary technology program, lectured at the Mid-Atlantic States Association of Avian Veterinarians, the Association of Avian Veterinarians, and New York State Association of Veterinary Technicians. She also sits on the membership committee of the AAV, has served as their technician liaison, and has contributed various articles to their publications. She is currently member at large for the Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Clinical Practice (AVTCP), Exotic Companion Animals. She shares her home with a Jenday Conure and a Double Yellow Headed Amazon, and a Green Wing Macaw.
KristineKristine Castillo, LVT
recently earned her BS in veterinary technology from Mercy College in 2011. We first met her when she elected to undergo a rigorous 6 month externship with us in her final year of college. Throughout her undergraduate studies, she had been working at a dog and cat practice, but after her experience here with us, her interest in working with birds and exotic pets grew and we were lucky enough to have her join us! She shares her home with 2 wily ferrets, Pixie and Whiskey, and 2 cats, Evee and Jacob.
has been caring for and working with animals since 2006, mostly as an Animal Care Officer at the Center for Animal Care and Control in Brooklyn. Jackie is owned by a DSH named Squirt, a spaniel mix named Pip and chocolate color-point named Kaya which she rescued from ACC. She always loved dogs and cats, and since working here has come to love exotic animals just as much. She is currently completing her pre-vet studies at City College where she is a biology major and applying for the zoology program at Florida State University. Her dream is to become a veterinarian and open a sanctuary for all abused animals both domestic and exotic. In the meantime, she is part of our veterinary assistant team where her caring personality is so appreciated.
grew up surrounded by animals on a farm in West Virginia. He always thought he would be a vet, but when he entered Harvard College, he decided to study psychology instead. After researching anxiety disorders at Columbia University for 3 years and declining a clinical psychology PhD program, he is finally back on track taking his pre-requisites for vet school! Exotic pets excite him most due to their diversity and the challenges involved in working with them. We are all excited to have him join our team, and we hope to put his Harvard education to good use as he helps us with our anxiety issues!
grew up on a small family farm on Cape Cod and started volunteering as a wildlife field researcher in 1998, specifically working with coyotes. She attended Salem State College for a degree in Glassblowing and Biology, and is now at LaGuardia Community College, working on receiving her license in Veterinary Technology. After school, Katie-Jo hopes to travel through South America and Africa for a few years to continue her work with exotic animals. With a huge love for large predatory mammals and birds, she hopes to open a raptor rehabilitation center in the future. She lives in Brooklyn and shares her home with two bearded dragons, a chihuahua named Polo, and is soon adding a white-bellied caique to the mix!
After studying Human Behavior at Long Island University, Tracy decided to follow one of her passions and attend Culinary School. Our “resident chef” says that working at the Center for Avian and Exotic Medicine allows her the opportunity to combine both of her passions: the culinary arts and love for animals. Whether preparing a gourmet meal for her family and friends or for a catering job, Tracy always shares some treats with her Rottweiler, Zora.
is a native of New England but has been raising her family in Woodside, Queens for 16 years. Before having children, Ann had a 15-year career working in various professional administrative positions. Now that her 2 sons are interested in life other than their mother, she has joined our front desk team! Ann’s love of animals began recently when her family adopted 2 mix breed pit bull puppies (Buttercup and Flora), and now that she is working with all of our exotic patients, she is learning about animals she never knew existed! Ann is a proud New Yorker and loves sightseeing all around the city and documenting her exploits as an amateur photographer.