Veterinarians

 
 
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Shannon Nielsen, DVM

Dr. Nielsen grew up raising cattle on a farm in Kingston, Washington. She fell in love with Montana while attending Carroll College.  She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in both Biology and Classical Studies from Carroll. Shannon then graduated from Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2011. GO COUGS!

 Shannon is proud to call the Deer Lodge Valley home and to raise her children, dogs, horses, and cattle here. Shannon enjoys spending time with her family, horseback riding, gardening, fishing, and hiking. She is committed to carrying on the tradition of great customer service and quality patient care that has been the cornerstone of the Clark Fork Veterinary Clinic since it was established in 1961.

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Betsy Price, DVM

Dr. Price is originally from Seeley Lake, MT where she grew up riding horses in 4-H, competing in rodeo and riding on trails in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area. She received her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Carroll College and then graduated from Washington State University with her DVM in 2016. She started at Clark Fork Veterinary Clinic in 2016 after graduation.

Betsy and her husband Reece call Avon home, where they have 3 dogs, several horses and a small cattle herd. They just welcomed a new son and are figuring out parenthood. In her free time, Betsy enjoys riding her horses, quilting, scrapbooking, being a 4-H leader and spending time with friends and family.

 
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Samantha Thomas, DVM

Dr. Thomas is a born and raised Deer Lodge native, who graduated from PCHS in 2007. She then attended the University of Montana Western in Dillon, graduating in 2011 as the top female graduate of her class. She received her DVM degree from Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine in May of 2015 and started practicing full-time in Missoula as well as working part time at several other southwestern Montana practices. During this time, Dr. Thomas gained a vast knowledge in primary care, emergency/critical care, and surgery, as well as expanding her exotic animal knowledge (rodents, reptiles, etc.). 

After working with us part-time for nearly 2 years, Sami joined our practice as our 3rd full-time veterinarian in May of 2017. She is so excited to be here and serving her home community! Sami’s veterinary interests include critical care, animal behavior, nutrition, and surgery. She’s experienced with and ready to care for your dogs, cats, and exotic animals such as birds, guinea pigs, and ferrets! When not at work you can find Sami working on her pool game, attempting to climb a mountain, riding her Harley, or skiing the slopes. She also spends time in Deer Lodge and surrounding communities with her family, friends, and her two dogs, Frank and Indigo.

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Mark McNeel, DVM

Dr. McNeel was born in rural Wisconsin and graduated veterinary school at the University of Wisconsin, after studying wildlife biology at the University of Montana. Before returning to school, he worked construction and as a hired hand on dairy and beef ranches both in the West and Midwest. Mark and his wife, Ann Marie, have two great teenagers -- one in college and one in high school.  Mark comes to Clark Fork Veterinary Clinic after having a solo, large- animal veterinary practice in the Mission Valley and providing veterinary services at the National Bison Range for the past 13 years. When not treating animals, Mark can be found recreating outdoors with his family or fixing up another old house.

 

Office Manager

 
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Lauretta Kolbeck, CVA

Lauretta has been with the Clark Fork Veterinary Clinic since 2013. She is the Office Manager, as well as one of the Certified Veterinary Assistants. She grew up in Dillon Montana on and around her grandparents’ ranch. She graduated from Montana State University in Bozeman with a degree in Agricultural Education. She loves being involved in veterinary medicine and using her teaching background to help educate clients about the animals and their medical needs. Lauretta’s passion is in beef cattle production and herd health planning. She enjoys riding horses and working for several of the local ranches on the weekends with her husband, Travis, and daughter, Kyla. She and her family enjoy hunting, fishing and camping with their two dogs, Cedar and Sage. Lauretta is a member of the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association and plans to continue her education in business management and veterinary medicine. Her goals include becoming a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager and Licensed Veterinary Technician.

 

Veterinary Assistants

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Tricia Averyt, CVT

Tricia joined the clinic in September 2014. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Arizona University with an emphasis in family diversity. In 2015 she decided to change career paths and revert to her child/adolescent passion working with animals. She recently received her Associate of Science degree in Veterinary Technology (Certified Veterinary Technician). In her free time, Tricia enjoys camping, fishing and skiing with her husband and two boys.

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Jaycee Wood, CVA

Jaycee has been with the clinic since 2012, starting as receptionist and kennel assistant. She is now one of our full time Certified Veterinary Assistants. She grew up in the Deer Lodge Valley. She enjoys volunteering her time fostering and encouraging pet adoptions. She and her two children love any outdoor activity where their dogs (Callie Jo, Benny and Pepper) can tag along. They enjoy photography, camping and hiking.

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Jessica Price

Jessica joined the Clark Fork team in February 2019 and is currently working on becoming a Certified Veterinary Assistant. She recently moved to Butte with her husband and they are looking for their forever home in the Avon/ Deer Lodge area. Jessica has been in the veterinary field for the past two and a half years and has always had a love for four legged friends. In her free time, Jessica loves to ride horses, spend time with her family and enjoy all of Montana’s seasons and the outdoor activities that come with them.

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Emma Kelly

Emma joined Clark Fork Vet Clinic in September 2018. She made a big move from Billings to Anaconda, MT. Emma has been in veterinary medicine for about 2 years now. She has had a passion for animals ever since she was little. Emma is currently working towards her associate of applied science degree at Penn Foster to become a Licensed Veterinary Technician. In Emma's free time, she enjoys spending time with all her four-legged friends, hiking, fishing, working on her photography skills, and hitting the books (because she's a nerd).

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Baylee Brown

Baylee grew up here in Deer Lodge where she was very active in the 4-H program showing a variety of animals from rabbits to beef. She is now a 4-H leader for Powell County. Her passion is for livestock, but she sure won't pass up an opportunity to love on our small animal friends.

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Sasha Mullen

Originally from Ohio, and most recently from northeast Washington, Sasha has recently settled in the Deer Lodge valley with her husband and their combined family of 5 children, 4 dogs, and 3 horses. She joined the staff at CFVC November 2018, and has worked in a variety of career fields. She is excited to put her experience to work! In her free time, she enjoys cross country skiing, hiking, playing with her dogs, and riding and training her horses.

Customer Service Representative

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Erinn Sullivan, CSR

Erinn joined the team as our receptionist in March of 2016. She was born and raised in the Helmville Valley as the fifth generation of her family. She currently lives in Helmville with her son, Deklyn, and her two dogs, Gage, a Doberman Pinscher, and Moose, a Yorkshire Terrier. In her free time she enjoys hiking, fishing, camping or just spending time at home with her family. Erinn is currently working on becoming a certified veterinary assistant.

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Mindy Blakeley Collins, CSR

Mindy joined our team as receptionist in March 2018. After living all over Western Montana, most recently in the Bitterroot Valley, she has returned home to Deer Lodge where she was born and raised. Mindy has expressed much joy being back home and working at CFVC she remembers visiting as a child. She enjoys fishing, 4-wheeling, camping, and exploring the outdoors with her adventurous husband AJ and sons Parker and Ace. Also part of her family is Talia, the playful yet mischievous Siberian husky, along with Bolt and Loki who live the lives of feline kings.

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Julie Jennings

Julie was born and raised in Anaconda, and currently lives in Deer Lodge. She joined the staff at Clark Fork Veterinary in May of 2017 and is currently working towards her Veterinary Technician certification. Julie is passionate about animals and their well-being; her two Japanese Chins, Oakley, and Piper are living proof of this. She strives to make any visit to our clinic easier for each patient, and their human. Julie enjoys time spent with her husband, children, and grandchildren as well as sewing, crocheting and any home improvement project.

Kennel Assistant 

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Bailee Johnson

Bailee grew up in Washington and her and her family moved to Montana her freshman year of high school. She is currently a senior in high school and is very involved in 4-H and the community. She was a superintendent at the 2017 Tri-County Fair. She is currently raising her own stock which includes: horses, sheep, cows, goats, and pigs. She enjoys going to rodeos, horse events, and showing livestock with her family in her free time. She is a Kennel Assistant for CFVC and hopes to become a Vet Tech in the future.

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Cody Eisenbeil