Our Veterinarians

The North Paw Animal Hospital team of skilled veterinarians welcomes you to our practice. Proudly serving the Durham and areas. At North Paw Animal Hospital, it is our daily privilege to provide quality vet care to your cherished pet, with compassion and competence. We hope to ensure a positive impact on our patients, pet owners and the local community.


Dr. Suzanne Alton

Dr. Suzanne Alton grew up in Louisville, KY and graduated in 1986 from Auburn University. She came to North Paw in 1990 and became a partner with Dr. Hutt in 1995. Dr. Alton particularly enjoys soft tissue surgery, dentistry, and working with pocket pets. She owns an assortment of cats and dogs.


Dr. Cindy Muse

Dr. Cindy Muse graduated from North Carolina State University in 1993, having grown up in Pinebluff, N.C. She practiced in Pennsylvania and Missouri before returning home to N.C. She particularly enjoys working with large dogs and their special medical challenges. She and her husband, Spencer, share their home with one silly goldendoodle and four Stray Foundation alumni cats. In her free time she plays the clarinet in the Durham Community Concert Band , enjoys traveling and is an obsessive knitter.


Dr. Karen Heffernan

Dr. Karen Heffernan graduated from North Carolina State University in 2005. She had previously worked as a veterinary assistant at North Paw and returned to us as a veterinarian in 2006. She and her husband, John, have 2 daughters, Claire and Nora; a dog, 2 cats and a rabbit. Dr. Heffernan enjoys working with both dogs and cats, and has a special interest in ophthalmology.


Dr. Ginger Stell

Dr. Ginger Stell graduated from North Carolina State University in 2013. She is a native North Carolinian and worked as a chemist and a (human) cancer researcher prior to pursuing a career in veterinary medicine. She practiced in coastal North Carolina before joining North Paw in 2015. Her special interests are in feline medicine, infectious diseases, and preventative medicine. In her free time she prefers to be outside, and particularly loves to hike. She shares her home with two furry felines, Petey and Brie, and considers herself "Mom" to the Stray Fund kitties while they wait for their forever homes.

Dr. Emily King

Dr. Emily King graduated from North Carolina State University in 2015. She worked at North Paw as an assistant while in veterinary school and returned as a full-time doctor in January 2016. Before returning to North Paw, she practiced near her hometown of Greensboro, NC. Dr. King enjoys the variety of each day but has special interests in behavior, internal medicine, and preventative medicine. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, exploring local restaurants, and playing in the community concert band. She shares her home with two dogs (Hazel and Andie) and five cats (Wheeler, Brody, Macintosh, Tyson, and Pirate, a Stray Fund kitty).

Dr. John Isaacs, Regional Medical Director

An Arkansas native, Dr. Isaacs grew up in Little Rock and attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville (WooPigSoooie!) He was unaware of veterinary medicine until he was in college and worked on a cattle ranch and met a veterinarian for the first time. He ended up volunteering for Dr. Jolly and then pursued veterinary medicine at Tuskegee University in Alabama. Dr. Isaacs now enjoys helping his clients enjoy their lives with their pets. He says maintaining excellent health allows dogs and cats the ability to be expressive and to show their love and affection for their human family members. Although being a veterinarian has many challenges, the benefits far outweigh them. Dr. Isaacs and his wife Melinda (a horse- and dog-person) share their home with Metta, a dog Melinda rescued from the streets in India; Cheddar Bob Master Cat, a frequent blood donor. Dr. Isaacs enjoys scuba diving and fishing, but not at the same time.