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. McKayla Dick
Dr. McKayla Dick was born and raised in El Paso, TX. After serving in the United States Air Force as an in-flight refueler she earned her bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from Purdue University and her DVM degree from St. Georges University, Grenada. Dr Dick’s interests are internal medicine, soft tissue surgery, cardiology, and emergency medicine. Fairchild AFB, WA is where she met her husband Vance who is originally from North Pole. After moving all over the United States they made it back to settle in Alaska with their 2 dogs and 2 cats. They enjoy traveling, hiking, fishing, camping, flying, and wine.
Dr. Josh Link DVM
Dr. Josh Link grew up in eastern Pennsylvania and attended Lebanon Valley College for his bachelor’s degree in Biology. He first came to Alaska in 2015 for veterinary school and is a member of the first class of veterinarians to graduate from the combined program between University of Alaska Fairbanks and Colorado State University.
His previous work experience includes working with small animal patients in addition to small ruminants, dairy cattle, musk ox, caribou and reindeer. Dr. Link’s professional interests include small animal surgery, sled dog medicine, and livestock medicine. Outside of veterinary medicine Dr. Link is an avid outdoors man enjoying skijoring/bikejoring with his two dogs Loki and Odin, backpacking, hunting and rock climbing.
Dr. Bentley Richards, DVM
Dr. Richards was born in Seattle, WA and grew up in Southern California. She graduated with degrees in Criminology and Sociology from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff in 2002. Following an exciting career in law enforcement, she went back to school for a new career path and obtained her DVM from North Carolina State University (Go Wolfpack!) in 2015. Dr. Richards moved to North Pole in the summer of 2019 with her Air Force pilot husband and two young daughters. In her spare time Dr. Richards enjoys outdoor sports such as horseback riding, camping, 4-wheeling and snow machining, and anything having to do with her Bernese Mountain Dog, Bunsen. Dr. Richards loves practicing all aspects of veterinary medicine but is particularly interested in Behavior and Dermatology as well as hospice care and pain management.
Dr. Richards is currently the resident AirVet professional available for Telemedicine consultations.
Dr. Katrina Backus
Dr. Katrina Backus came to North Pole Veterinary Hospital in November of 2020. Dr. Backus was born and raised in a small rural Northern Idaho town. Dr. Backus spent her undergraduate studies at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington and went on to obtain her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. While Dr. Backus loves all things vet medicine, she has a particular interest in orthopedic surgery and wound care management. Dr. Backus, her husband and their adorable little girl along with their 3 dogs and 2 cats have spent the last few years in various locations due to his job in the United States Air Force but have ultimately found they love Alaska and hope to maybe one day retire here. When not at the vet Dr. Backus loves to spend her days with family while outside doing things such as exploring Alaska in their side by side. Dr. Backus hopes to continue to grow her extensive knowledge and experience while looking forward to all the exciting challenges Alaska has to offer.
Dr. Heather Harrison
Dr. Heather Harrison joined the North Pole Veterinary Hospital team in May of 2021. Dr. Harrison was born and raised in Poughkeepsie, New York and at age 6 knew she either wanted to be a vet or a rock star with pink hair. Dr. Harrison obtained her Bachelors degree in Business concentration in vet practice management and later in 2014 went on to earn her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Ross University in St. Kitt in the Caribbean. Dr. Harrison and her husband Dustin, who she met in Clarksville, Tennessee relocated to Fort Wainwright for his job in the United States Army. When not at work she loves to craft such as painting and quilting but when she is looking for that feel of the outdoors, she enjoys hiking. Dr. Harrison has two dogs, Diesel the lab mix and AB the pug and one cat named Calypso. Dr. Harrison enjoys seeing a variety of patients but has particular interest in wellness, internal medicine and dermatology. We sure are glad she decided to go with the dream of being a veterinarian and we are excited to have Dr. Harrison as the newest member of our team.