Whitefish Animal Hospital

713 E 13th St
Whitefish, MT 59937



Meet our doctors! - image courtesy of lemonade and freedigitalphotos.net

Dr. Jim ThompsonJim Thompson, DVM
I did my undergraduate work at the University of Arizona and then graduated from the Colorado State University Veterinary School in 1986.  I practiced in my hometown of Phoenix for six years.  Looking for a slower pace, I moved to Whitefish, MT to raise my family and purchased the Whitefish Animal Hospital in 1992.  During my free time (if any!), I enjoy my family time, watching my boys play hockey, and all outdoor activities.


Joanie Bechtle, DVM, CVMA
I am a native Montanan having grown up in eastern Montana.  I received my BS at Montana State University (Go Cats) in 1992 and then my DVM from Washington State University (WAZZU) in 1998.  My husband and I then moved to Bellingham, WA where I practiced for 2 years.  In 2000 we had the opportunity to move back to Montana to be closer to family, and that is how I ended up in Whitefish.  I have been with Whitefish Animal Hospital since that time, now working part-time to spend time with my young children.   My husband of 15 years, Eric, and I have 2 boys, who keep me busy on my days "off."  We also have an American Eskimo Dog and a long-haired cat.  I enjoy knitting, gardening, camping, hiking, landscaping, skiing, and spending time with my family, especially playing with my kids.  My special practice interests include dentistry, internal medicine, and soft-tissue surgery, but I enjoy all aspects.


Melissa Genovese, DVM
I obtained my B.S. in biology and a minor in mathematics from the University of Puget Sound.  In 2001, I graduated from the Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine.  During veterinary school, I met my husband Bob, an equine veterinarian at LaSalle Equine Clinic in Kalispell.  Upon graduation, we moved to his home state of Ohio, where we practiced for 5 years.  Longing for the west coast lifestyle and the mountains, we relocated  to Whitefish in 2006 with our twins, Mason and Olivia, and our pets.  In my free time, I enjoy watching my children in their athletic events, practicing yoga, or trail running, hiking, and cross-country skiing with my family and dog in the beautiful outdoors. I am intrigued by all aspects of veterinary medicine, but have special interests in ophthalmology, feline medicine, diagnostic ultrasound, and soft tissue surgery.


Laura Thiel, DVM
I grew up in West Virginia in a large family that included many dogs, cats and horses. I did my undergraduate studies at Ohio University, then graduated from The Ohio State University Veterinary School in 2001. After Graduation I headed out west to the Sierra mountains where I met my husband, Nick. I enjoyed practicing veterinary medicine in Nevada for 7 years before moving to the Flathead Valley in 2008. In my free time I enjoy hiking, skiing, and snowshoeing.  On my days off I love spending time with our two children, Owen and Ada, and our two golden retrievers. I find all aspects of veterinary medicine enjoyable, but have special interests in senior pet care, The Morris Animal Health Foundation study for canine cancer, and endoscopy.

Heather McEvoy, DVM, CVMA, CCRT

Born and raised in Whitefish, I started my veterinary career here at Whitefish Animal Hospital volunteering as a grade schooler to help clean kennels and walk dogs.  Since then I have worked for a variety of shelters, zoos, wildlife rehabilitation facilities, and other veterinary clinics.  I graduated from Seattle University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and I completed my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2015.  I was practicing at an integrative veterinary hospital in Olympia, WA prior to re-joining the team here at Whitefish Animal Hospital.  I am certified in veterinary medical acupuncture and as a canine rehabilitation and sports medicine therapist.  I have special interest in nutrition, geriatric and end of life care, complementary and alternative medicine, and emergency clinical medicine. I strive to practice a truly integrative approach.  I live with my partner Eric.  Together we have 2 dogs, 3 cats, and 1 hedgehog whom remind me daily of the significance of the human animal bond.  Besides veterinary medicine I love anything outdoors.  I was a wildland firefighter for 8 seasons and love working hard, getting dirty, and playing in the woods.  Currently, I see appointments on occasional Saturdays only at Whitefish Animal Hospital. 


Leslie Fethke, DVM, DACVS


I received my bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Denver and then graduated from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2007. After veterinary school I went into equine medicine and surgery. I completed two equine internships followed by a three-year large animal surgery residency at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. In 2013, I became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons for large animals (DACVS-LA). I practiced as an equine surgeon in Las Vegas for 2 years before transitioning to small animal medicine and surgery. I worked at an AAHA-accredited small animal hospital in Las Vegas for 4 years. My husband and I met in my home state of Colorado and we share a love for the mountains. We moved our son and chocolate lab to the Flathead Valley to be part of a mountain community where we can enjoy the outdoors and raise our family.

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