We as veterinarians attend continuing education yearly and keep current on new modalities and treatments for our patients. Some health issues may entail long term medical care and support for your pet. We feel education and communication is very important for the veterinarian/patient/client relationship. Please feel free to ask questions so that we can help you understand your pet’s health so that you will feel confident in the care they receive.
Dr. Denali Lovely (Henderson)
Dr. Denali Lovely (Henderson) was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska. She left Alaska after high school and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Biology and a minor in Botany from the University of Montana.
Montana is where she met her husband Patrick. She and her husband worked for the Fish and Wildlife Service for a few years when Denali decided to go to veterinary school. They both moved to Pullman, Washington where Dr. Lovely obtained her DVM in 2001 from Washington State University. Dr. Lovely’s interests are dermatology, internal medicine and soft tissue surgery. She and her husband reside in Fairbanks with their two daughters and two dogs.
Dr. Melissa Rouge
Dr. Melissa Rouge was born and raised in Colorado where she was active in 4-H dog obedience, AKC obedience and sled dog racing. She graduated with her DVM from Colorado State University in 2004. After graduation she did an internship in a virology research laboratory working mostly with West Nile Virus.
She moved to Alaska in 2005. Her interests include surgery, working dogs and reproduction. Outside of work, she enjoys running her sled dogs, competing in agility with her German Shepherd Deena, playing viola in a string orchestra and trail riding.
Dr. Dawn Brown
Dr. Dawn Brown first starting racing sled dogs as a junior in the Northeast US in 1982, and still maintains a competitive limited class sprint team. She first came to Alaska as a veterinary student in 1993, and later drove the Alcan Highway several times to work as a relief veterinarian and as a race competitor.
In 2012, she finally made the move to Interior Alaska a permanent one and joined the team at North Pole Veterinary Hospital. She is a contributing author to Mushing Magazine’s “Vet Check”, and has several publications in Dog and Driver. She also enjoys running distance races and target shooting. Dr. Brown practices small animal medicine and surgery with an interest in emergency medicine. She is a 1995 graduate of The College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University.
Dr. Mercedes Pinto
Dr. Mercedes Pinto grew up in the mountains of southern Colorado and graduated from Colorado State University Vet School in 2002. The summer after graduating from vet school she flew to Fairbanks to visit a friend and immediately decided she wanted to stay. She has lived and worked in and around Fairbanks for the majority of her time since then and enjoys the variety of people and pets she meets here. Dr. Pinto has wanted to be a veterinarian since she was a small child and read All Creatures Great and Small. She loves being a veterinarian and is especially fond of pocket pets and emergency medicine. Dr. Pinto joined NPVH in March of 2015.
Dr. Pinto and her German Shepherds enjoy many Alaskan hobbies; hiking, camping, skiing and snow machining as often as they can. Her cats prefer her indoor hobbies of cooking and reading. When not spending time with her pets, Dr. Pinto may be found hiking in the South American Jungle or providing veterinary care on a sled dog race.
Licensed Veterinary Technicians
All of our licensed technicians regularly attend continuing education so that they can remain current with veterinary medicine. It is important to us to provide quality, up to date care in pain management and all other aspects of veterinary medicine. We feel that communication between our staff and clients is very important. The technicians will take time to help you understand your pet’s diagnostic and treatment options so that you feel confident in the care they receive.
Alli Pearmine, LVT
Alli grew up on a farm in Oregon before moving to California for college. She received her bachelor degree in Environmental Science at the University of San Diego. After college she moved back to Oregon and began working at a veterinary hospital hoping to gain hands on work experience to begin working with and training Guide Dogs. Plans changed when she met her husband (a born and raised Alaskan) who brought her up to Alaska during the Spring of 2002. She continued in the veterinary field and became licensed in 2004. Currently, Alli enjoys participating in agility events with her dogs. Her special interests at work include radiology, surgery, laboratory procedures and kittens!
Krystal Minkler, LVT
Krystal has been a technician since 2005. She has attended continuing education classes on dentistry and has learned current advanced dentistry techniques to provide high quality dental care for your pet.
Suze Nolan, LVT
Suze has been a licensed veterinary technician since 2008. Her professional interests include education, behavior and the human-animal bond. Suze and Kevin enjoy exploring Alaska’s trails and waterways with their dogs Kiwi the husky and Cootie the Shih Tzu. Kaya the cat keeps the house in order while they are out and about.
Bayleen Shaffer, LVT
Bayleen was born and raised here in North Pole. She has been with NPVH since September 2010 and resides in North Pole with her husband and 3 kids. Bayleen enjoys working with animals and achieved her veterinary technician license in 2016.
Sheena Batac, LVT
Sheena has been a resident of Alaska for 18 years. She is a blessed mother of a young son, Brayden, and together they enjoy the company of their pit bull, Baby Rogue.
Sheena has worked in the veterinary field since 2001. What she loves most about working at NPVH is the opportunity to establish long-lasting relationships with all of the wonderful people and pets that come to our hospital.
Sandi Bolcavage, CVT
Sandi has worked as a veterinary technician since 1999. Her husband is active in the Air Force and her family moved to Alaska in 2015.
Our Veterinary Assistants play an important role in ensuring that your pet receives the best care possible while visiting our hospital. They are a knowledgeable part of our staff and are available to help answer any questions you may have concerning the well-being of your pet.
Mara is from Tok, Alaska. She has a bachelors degree of Arts and Sciences and a minor in education from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Mara is currently pursuing her veterinary technician license. She is married to Erik and they have a son, Kade. They have nine dogs and a cat. Mara is passionate about animal care and animal behavior.
Brooke moved from Washington State to Alaska in December of 2015. She moved with her husband and two fur babies. Since arriving in the state, her fur family has grown to seven. She began working for NPVH in May of 2016 as a technician assistant. Brooke enjoys work, family and singing.
Front Office Staff
Our Front Office Staff is dedicated to making your visit a pleasant one. They are an important liason between our clients and our medical team. They are available to assist in appointment scheduling, medicine refill requests and processing payments.
Misty Rathbun has been a front office team member since June of 2009. She was raised in North Pole and currently resides in North Pole with her family.
Katrina was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She moved to North Pole in May of 2014. Katrina is a pet mom of two, Sox and Peyton. Katrina also works several days a week in the hospital as a veterinary assistant.
Michelle was born in Albany, Georgia. She moved to North Pole, AK in the winter of 2012. Michelle is a dog mom of one, Chief. Camping, hunting, fishing, being outdoors and traveling are all things she enjoys.
Beth came to live in Alaska with the Air Force 24 years ago. She recently retired with 43 years of federal civil service, having worked primarily for the Air Force and the National Park Service.
She raised her two children here in North Pole, both of whom have “left her nest”! She has 3 step children and 9 step grandchildren. She and her husband, Kama, raise chickens and bees, and Beth is a regular trail rider on her quarter horse mare, April.
Beth began working as a part time receptionist here at NPVH in July 2016.
Born in Florida, April grew up in the Florida Keys. Since a young age she has always had a passion and love for animals. Growing up with wildlife all around, she quickly gained and understanding and respect for animals large and small. In high school she volunteered at the local Animal Shelter. After high school, April moved to Miami to attend Miami Dade College. It was from there that she graduated and received her A.S. in Business Administration. She later went on to pursue becoming a groomer and graduated from the PetSmart Grooming Academy. She has spent time grooming in privately owned grooming salons.
April is knowledgeable and skilled in specific breed cuts and custom pet trims. She strives to make the grooming experience as stress-free as possible. She believes it is a must to have a great deal of patience and trust, as well as the ability to read a dog’s body language. She takes great pride in her work and is very much a quality over quantity type of groomer. She keeps up to date on the latest grooming trends, equipment, products and techniques by attending grooming seminars, trade shows, researching online and making friends with other like-minded groomers.
A big part of being a successful professional groomer is knowing what products can help get the look and feel that clients want. April believes there is always something new to be learned in the grooming industry. She strives to learn new ways to keep your dogs happy and healthy!
Additionally, April serves as a registered member of National Dog Groomer Association of America, International Professional Groomers, Intellectual Groomers Association, and the National Association of Professional Creative Groomers.
April assists our community as a front office team member as well. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family. This includes her husband, James, who is active military, and their two four-legged children Luna and Mika. April’s hobbies include reading, being outdoors and traveling. Her goal is to continue furthering her education with grooming and to become a National/International Master Groomer.
Patrick has a Masters degree in Education from WSU and currently teaches at Lathrop High School.
He also works part time at the hospital doing business management and maintenance.
Sarah was born in Fairbanks and has been part of the NPVH team since 2008. Her position as Practice Manager compliments her lifelong adoration of animals and her desire to be of service to her community and co-workers.
She and her two children reside in Fairbanks and enjoy an array of outdoor activities, athletics and family adventure.