Our Doctors

Our team of doctors include an experienced and highly skilled group of emergency veterinarians as well as board certified specialists in surgery, oncology, internal medicine and cardiology. We are proud of the doctors we have assembled to provide the highest level of service to you and your pet. We will help you understand all aspects of what your pet is experiencing as well as the recommended course of treatment. We’ll answer all of your questions and help guide you every step of the way. Our goal is to ensure you receive whatever you need to make a decision that is right for your pet.

Carol Haak

Carol Haak, DVM, DACVECC

Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care

Dr. Carol Haak is board certified in Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. She is originally from Salt Lake City and earned her BS in Animal Science from Utah State University. Dr. Haak graduated from Oklahoma State University Veterinary School in 2006. She then completed a small animal rotating internship at Garden State Veterinary Specialists in New Jersey as well as a Small Animal Emergency / Critical Care and Internal Medicine Internship at University of Missouri-Columbia in 2008. Dr. Haak earned her board certification in 2012 after completing a rigorous residency at the Animal Emergency and Specialty Center and Specialty Services in Glendale, Wisconsin.

Dr. Haak’s professional interests include fluid therapy, analgesia, critical patient anesthesia and metabolic emergencies.

Dr. Haak has authored seven published articles in peer reviewed journals including the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care on fluid resuscitation, bronchointerstitial pneumonia and endotoxemia and more.

When she is not caring for patients, Dr. Carol Haak enjoys camping and hiking, cycling and triathlons. She has played women’s rugby for over 10 years!
Dr. Haak has come to the west coast now with her fiancé, two dogs Molly and Sam and two cats Phillip and Tortellini.

We are fortunate to have such an accomplished and compassionate boarded emergency and critical care specialist here at Advanced Veterinary Specialists.

Andrea Wells, DVM, DACVIM

Andrea Wells, DVM, DACVIM

Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine

Dr. Wells has been practicing internal medicine in Santa Barbara since 2004 and has established a well-respected relationship with the local veterinarians.

Dr. Wells graduated from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 1997. Following graduation she completed a one year medical and surgical internship at Purdue University. Dr. Wells then completed an internal medicine residency at UC Davis.

Dr. Wells contributed to veterinary science with research and publication of a novel treatment of feline hyperthyroidism. She presented her research at the National ACVIM Forum and has since lectured extensively to referring veterinarians. She completed the ACVIM board examination to become a Diplomate of the American College of Internal Medicine (Board Certified Internist) in 2001.

Her professional interests include immune mediated, gastrointestinal and endocrine diseases. She is trained, and has extensive experience in special procedures that include ultrasonography and ultrasound-guided biopsy, bone marrow aspiration, endoscopy and endoscopic placement of tracheal and urethral stents.

Away from work, she enjoys cycling, swimming and competing in local triathlons.

Shannon Carley, DVM, DACVIM

Shannon Carley, DVM, DACVIM

Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine

Dr. Carley started working with Dr. Wells in 2007 when she moved to Santa Barbara.

Dr. Shannon Carley graduated from Oregon State University in 2004. Following graduation, Dr. Carley completed a 12 month rotating internship followed by her Internal Medicine Residency at Bay Area Veterinary Specialists in the San Francisco Bay Area which she completed in 2007.

Dr. Carley’s primary research is in canine pancreatitis. She published her research on the Spec cPL, a blood test to diagnose pancreatitis in dogs. She also presented her research at a national conference, and has lectured on various other topics. In addition to pancreatitis, Dr. Carley’s clinical interests include gastrointestinal diseases and endoscopy, hepatic disease, renal disease, endocrine conditions, and immune-mediated diseases.

Dr. Carley resides in Santa Barbara with her husband, son and daughter, and their dog Delilah and 3-legged cat Moses. She enjoys running, going to the beach, hiking, music and reading.



Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology)

Dr. Ayl grew up in Zimbabwe and graduated from the Faculty of Veterinary Science of the University of Pretoria in South Africa in 1985. He practiced large animal medicine in Zimbabwe before coming to the USA in 1985. He did a small animal internship at the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan, NY, before he moved on to The Ohio State University for his residency in medical oncology in 1989. Dr. Ayl achieved Board Certification in medical oncology in 1994, and in radiation oncology in 2000.

Dr. Ayl has consulted with various practices, laboratories, and has lectured throughout the United States and abroad on various oncologic topics. He has authored and co-authored a number of published articles and other publications, and conducted research on the phenomenon of multi-drug resistance, mast cell tumor and oral melanoma. He has been practicing referral medical and radiation oncology in Southern California since 1993. Dr. Ayl specializes in the application of multi-modality therapy protocols for the treatment of cancer in animals.

Sharon Shields, DVM, DACVS

Sharon Shields, DVM, DACVS

Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons

Advanced Veterinary Specialty is extremely proud to have our Board Certified Surgeon, Dr. Sharon Shields, as part of our team. Dr. Shields has over 10 years of specialty surgical experience and is well accomplished in orthopedic, general, soft tissue and neurologic surgical procedures. She is also qualified to perform minimally invasive procedures such as laparoscopy, thoracosopy and arthroscopy.

Dr. Shields is a UCSB graduate earning her degree in Biologic Sciences. She received her veterinary degree from University of California, College of Veterinary Medicine, Davis, California in 1997 where she graduated with academic honors (Phi Zeta). She completed her one year internship and three year residency in Small Animal Surgery at California Animal Hospital in Los Angeles, California and became Board Certified in Surgery in 2002.

Dr. Shields worked as a staff surgeon at the Animal Surgical and Emergency Center in Los Angeles between 2001 and 2008 where she gained significant experience in all areas of surgery due to the tremendous caseload. In addition to being a staff surgeon Dr. Shields ran the surgical residency program, training surgical residents and veterinary interns. She has spent the last four years at the Veterinary Specialty Center of Tucson where she gained more experience not only in advanced orthopedic procedures but desert life as well.

When she isn’t busy taking care of her surgical patients she enjoys her busy household—comprised of an active toddler, three dogs and two cats. Whenever possible Dr. Shields and her husband like spending time in the outdoors hiking, running and teaching their son about nature.