Surgical Team

Board-certified veterinary surgeons

Only veterinarians who have successfully completed the rigorous certification requirements of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) receive the prestigious Diplomate designation. These veterinarians have earned board certification and the right to be called specialists in veterinary surgery. All our surgeons at Animal Surgical Clinic of Seattle are ACVS Diplomates.

Allen L. Johnson, DVM

Diplomate ACVS

Dr Allen Johnson Dr. Johnson received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Colorado State University in 1996, then completed a one-year rotating internship at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. He went on to complete a three-year surgical residency at Michigan State University, earning board certification in 2001.

Following his residency, Dr. Johnson remained at Michigan State University for two years as an assistant professor in small animal orthopedic surgery. While there, he was integral in helping to develop MSU’s Canine Arthroscopy program. He moved to Seattle to join the Animal Surgical Clinic of Seattle in 2002.

Dr. Johnson’s research has been published in several veterinary journals and texts, and he has lectured at national and international veterinary surgical meetings. His professional interests include canine arthroscopy, patellar luxation, correction of angular limb deformities, and distraction osteogenesis.

Outside of work, he enjoys golfing, hiking, and exploring the Northwest with his wife and three sons.


Alexander Z. Aguila, DVM

Diplomate ACVS

Dr Aguila Dr. Aguila completed his veterinary degree at the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University in 2000. Following veterinary school, he completed a year-long internship in small animal medicine and surgery in Springfield, Massachusetts, at Rowley Memorial Animal Hospital, and a year-long surgical internship in Pattersonville, New York, at the Capital District Veterinary Surgical Associates.  Dr. Aguila then returned to Cornell, where he completed a three-year residency in small animal surgery.  He earned board certification in small animal surgery in 2006.

Prior to joining ASCS in 2008, Dr. Aguila gained substantial experience in a variety of surgical procedures while in private practice at Bay Area Veterinary Specialists in Houston.  He has lectured extensively to the veterinary community, both in academic and private practice settings, and his published works include studies exploring the biomechanics of locking compression plates. His professional interest include cranial cruciate ligament deficiency and minimally invasive surgery including fracture repair and locking plate technology.

In his free time, Dr. Aguila likes to spend time with his family, getting outside as often as possible to go hiking, camping, skiing, running and expanding his new found interest in cycling.


Russell L. Bennett, DVM

Diplomate ACVS

Dr Bennett Dr. Bennett graduated from Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1991, and completed his internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Texas A&M University. He returned to Michigan State University to complete his three-year residency in small animal surgery in 1995.

Following a two-year position as staff surgeon at Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital in Akron, OH, he earned board certification in 1997, joining ASCS shortly thereafter.

Dr. Bennett performs a wide variety of orthopedic, soft tissue and neurosurgical procedures, and he has a special interest in orthopedic disease. He researched, published and lectured on many surgical topics while attending Michigan State University.

Outside of work, Dr. Bennett enjoys traveling with his wife, and whipping up gourmet meals.


Kristin Kirkby Shaw, DVM, MS, PhD

Diplomate ACVS, Diplomate ACVSMR

Dr_Kristin_Shaw_4489 Dr. Shaw received her DVM from the University of Florida in 2003, before completing a one-year small animal internship in Colorado. She returned to the University of Florida for a four-year small animal surgical residency and to pursue her master’s degree, conducting research on ischemic kidney injury and kidney transplants.

In 2008, Dr. Shaw became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. She spent an additional two years at the University of Florida as a faculty member in the Soft Tissue Surgery department while conducting her PhD research on methods of decreasing post-surgical complications of gastrointestinal surgery.

In 2010, Dr. Shaw moved to Seattle and began working in private practice. She became board-certified in Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation in 2013.

Her areas of surgical expertise include brachycephalic airway syndrome, cardiothoracic, oncologic, orthopedic, urogenital and intestinal procedures, congenital defects, and wound healing and reconstruction.

She has conducted extensive research in soft tissue surgery and rehabilitation, published numerous journal articles and textbook chapters, and presented at national and international conferences.

When she’s not performing surgery, you can find Dr. Shaw running, snowboarding, traveling, relaxing in downward dog, or simply spending time with her husband, Aaron, their Frenchie, Beans and their new Labrador puppy, Arrow.


Mike Thoesen, DVM, DACVS:

DVM: Kansas State University, Magna Cum Laude, 2002

Internship: Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine

Residency: Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

Board Certified: 2007

Areas of Interest: Regenerative bone healing; Complex fracture management

Prior to joining us, Dr. Thoesen worked for 11 years in Omaha, Nebraska, at Midwest Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center. In addition to clinical practice, he taught fourth-year veterinary students, lectured extensively to the surrounding veterinary community, and published multiple cases and research papers.

It seems that Animal Health is a family affair as his wife, Keli Anne, is also a veterinarian. Dr. Thoesen and his family are starting a new adventure by moving to Seattle, his wife’s hometown. They have two daughters, a beloved Golden Retriever named Hope and two cats, Kenny and Chief.

In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, mountain biking, fishing, and camping.