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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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. Greg Pietsch, DVM

While Dr. Pietsch claims to have been ” born in the back seat of a Greyhound bus rollin’ down highway 41″, we all know that he was actually born and raised in Massachusetts where he spent lots of time at his father’s veterinary practice.  During college, Dr.Piestsch ventured north seeking fame and glory on the slime line in Bristol Bay.  Eventually he made his way to Fairbanks where he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Biology before heading off to the University of Minnesota for vet school.  After vet school he did a 1 year internship at Georgia Veterinary Specialists in Atlanta.  He then practiced for several years in New England before deciding to move with his family back to Fairbanks in 2010.   He has 2 dogs, 3 cats, several fish, too many chickens, 2 cockroach colonies, and 2 beehives.  He joined North Pole Veterinary Hospital in 2020.


Dr. Katrina Backus

Photo and bio coming soon!