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Sentinel Veterinary Specialists & EmergencySentinel Veterinary Specialists & Emergency

Phone: (406) 218‑2800
Address: 1704 S Reserve St, Missoula, MT 59801
Email: info@sentinelvse.com

Exceptional Veterinary Services with a Kind Heart

We are a team of board-certified specialists, highly trained emergency doctors and top veterinary professionals dedicated to providing world-class medicine and care. We aim to be an integral part of Western Montana’s veterinary community, caring for patients that need extra attention and an after-hours presence.

Meet Our Staff

Our Specialists

Joshua Jackson

Dr. Joshua Jackson
DVM, DACVS

Dr. Josh Jackson is a board-certified, Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. Having grown up on a ranch in Northern New Mexico, he developed an early love for all animals. His father’s influence as a General Surgeon for people led to an early interest in surgery. Dr. Jackson went to veterinary school at Colorado State University where he graduated a member of the Phi Zeta honor society. He went on to perform a rotating internship at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital of San Diego and a residency in surgery at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Jackson returned to San Diego and founded the surgery service at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital. Under his directorship, the service has grown to seven surgeons performing thousands of surgeries every year. As an active mentor to over 140 interns and residents, Dr. Jackson has helped many young surgeons achieve diplomate status. Dr. Jackson has broad clinical interests in surgery, ranging from total hip replacements to advanced soft tissue and reconstructive techniques. He has lectured nationally and internationally on cruciate ligament disease, total hip replacement and orthopedic implants and published numerous scientific articles on a variety of soft tissue and orthopedic topics. Dr. Jackson was founder of the Veterinary Specialty Hospital of Hong Kong, the first specialty referral-only hospital in Asia. He was also founder of FACE, a non-profit organization that has saved thousands of pets in the San Diego region from euthanasia for economic reasons.

Dr. Jackson is now happy to bring his years of experience to the pets and people of Montana. He is excited to bring 24-hr, specialty care to the region and looks forward to expanding the services currently available in the area. His free time is spent exploring the rivers, trails and slopes of Montana with his family and his two black labs, Django and Madison.

Steve Peterson

Dr. Steve Peterson
DVM, DACVS

Dr. Steve Peterson graduated from Veterinary School at Colorado State University and then continued his education as a Veterinary Intern at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston and as a Small Animal Surgery Resident at the University of California, Davis. He then became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and practiced in Massachusetts and California before returning to school 10 years later to attend medical school at the University of Colorado. Post-graduate surgical training in Colorado and Oklahoma led to a career in reconstructive and hand surgery in Colorado and Oregon in both academic and private practice settings. During his 15 years in Oregon his family relocated to Missoula, an ideal place to raise two outdoor oriented kids, while Dr. Peterson commuted weekly. During his tenure as a human surgeon Dr. Peterson strove to stay in touch with his veterinary roots by keeping up-to-date with veterinary continuing education and by periodically operating with local veterinarians. When the opportunity came up to come full circle and work with Drs. Wheeler and Jackson at Sentinel Veterinary Specialists and Emergency, it was an opportunity he could not pass up. During his professional career Dr. Peterson published over 40 peer reviewed publications and authored or co-authored over 10 book chapters in both the human and veterinary surgical literature.

Jason Wheeler

Dr. Jason Wheeler
DVM, MS, DACVS

Dr. Jason Wheeler was born and raised in Ft. Myers on Florida’s gulf coast. Dr. Wheeler returned to the University of Florida for a combined master’s degree and residency in small animal surgery. During his residency he won several awards for excellence in clinical research from the University of Florida, the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, and the Veterinary Orthopedic. He has been involved in multiple research studies and has authored or coauthored over 20 peer reviewed scientific publications. Dr. Wheeler has since worked at a large referral center in Denver and co-founded a multispecialty clinic in Virginia. Dr. Wheeler and his wife Marion have 3 wonderful daughters who all enjoy the sense of community and love of the outdoors found in Bozeman.

Dr. Wheeler has a broad interest in veterinary surgery including wound management, cranial cruciate ligament instability, joint replacement, elbow dysplasia, fracture repair and oncologic surgery. In his free time, Dr. Wheeler and his wife Marion stay busy with their girls who enjoy camping, hiking and their corgi, Meatball.

Annie Wright

Dr. Annie Wright
Veterinarian, Board Certified Criticalist

Dr. Annie Wright grew up in Quebec, Canada. She earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Montreal in 2000. She is a Board Certified Criticalist and has been a member of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care since 2006. Her professional interests include the treatment of shock, acute renal failure, electrolyte disturbances, critically ill cats and diagnostic ultrasound. She is published in the Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care and has written chapters in several small animal textbooks. Throughout her career she has been involved in the medical care of military and police working dogs and the training of K9 handlers and medics who work with them. She is a founder and board member of the National Association of Veterinary Medical Services. Dr. Wright lives in Missoula with her husband and two children. They have one dog, Angie; 2 cats, Blueberry and Don Williams and 2 beta fish. She loves exploring the outdoors, running, riding her bike and photography.

Ashley Mitek

Dr. Ashley Mitek
DVM, MS, DACVAA

Dr. Mitek fell in love with anesthesiology and pain management after anesthetizing a sick horse during her last year of veterinary school. She is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia & Analgesia, and enjoys working with high-risk patients who need surgery. She was born and raised in the Washington, DC area and went to undergrad at Cornell University. After graduating from veterinary school at the University of Illinois, she stayed on as a rotating surgery, medicine and emergency intern, where she also completed her residency and Master’s degree in Anesthesiology.
 
For the past 7 years she has been teaching at the University of Illinois, and is excited to be in the mountains instead of flat cornfields! As one of the region's only board-certified anesthesiologists, she is excited to bring excellent anesthesiology and pain management care to Bridger’s patients.  
 
When she is not in operating rooms, she is learning how to fly fish and enjoys hiking with her dog Winston.  

Our Emergency Veterinarians

Cassidy Briggs

Dr. Cassidy Briggs
Veterinarian

Dr. Cassidy Briggs is a Montana native, hailing from Grass Range. She holds a BA in Biology from Johns Hopkins University, earned her DVM and Certificate in Global Animal Health from Washington State University, and is certified in veterinary acupuncture through IVAS. After working for several years in Broadway theatrical management, she returned home to pursue a career as a veterinarian and has never looked back! Along with her partner, Travis, son Gage, and her Australian Shepherd, Jackson, she enjoys hiking, skiing, yoga, knitting, and all the other adventures Missoula has to offer.

Heather Fumia

Dr. Heather Fumia
Veterinarian

Dr. Heather Fumia grew up in rural western New York, in a very small town between Rochester and Buffalo. She obtained degrees in Forensic Science Technology and Biology from Alfred State College and her DVM degree from Purdue University. She has practiced shelter medicine and emergency medicine in Missoula since graduation. She is passionate about emergency medicine and surgery and enjoys being involved with local animal shelters. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, biking, skiing, camping (basically any outdoor activity), traveling, and attending concerts with loved ones, and her two dogs, Nala and Waffles.

Rebecca Kerscher

Dr. Rebecca Kerscher
Veterinarian

Dr. Rebecca Kerscher was born and raised in Red Lodge, Montana. She studied wildlife biology in Missoula and graduated as a veterinarian from Colorado State University in 2007. She began work with horses and then moved to Billings where she focused on small animal medicine, surgery, and urgent care at a busy 24-hour care facility. Dr. Kerscher loves providing urgent and emergent medicine when your pet requires it and keeps raising the bar for patient care. She spends her personal time chasing after her two children, baking, hiking, running, and hopes to someday complete her kid’s baby books despite the fact that they are no longer babies!

Ann Vestal

Dr. Ann Vestal
Veterinarian

Dr. Ann Vestal grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and obtained her DVM from Oklahoma State University in 2007. She has practiced veterinary medicine in Missoula, downtown Chicago, different locations in Colorado, and has been back in Missoula since 2018. She loves emergency medicine and surgery and is honored to be certified in equine and small animal acupuncture. Dr. Ann lives in Missoula with her beloved dogs, silly horse, and ridiculous chickens. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her beloved family, yoga, hiking, floating the river, paddle boarding, fly fishing, and horseback riding. Dr. Ann is proud to call Missoula her forever home and looks forward to her exciting future with Sentinel.

Our Staff

Aliedra (Alie)

Aliedra (Alie)
Surgery Department Supervisor

Alie has been working in veterinary medicine since 2014. She continued on to achieve her Certified Veterinary Assistant in 2017, and graduated as a Certified Veterinary Technician in 2019. A few of her professional interests include the human-animal bond, anesthesiology, emergency/critical care, orthopedics, multimodal pain management, and exemplary patient care. In her spare time you can find Alie spending time with her family, which includes her spouse, Connor, and her furry, four-legged kids: her 4 daschunds, Ellie, Gromit, Millie, and Slinky, her heeler Groot, and her two cats, Turbo and Sushi!

Jodie

Jodie
Emergency Department Supervisor

Jodie has been in the veterinary field since 2012 and became licensed in 2019 after graduating with an associate degree in veterinary medicine. Her passion in the field has moved from “in the fray of it all” to supervising the emergency department. Jodie is a new first-time mom! When not at work, she loves to get out and adventure with her dogs, ride dirt bikes, and spend time with family.

Stefani

Stefani
Technician

Stefani is an Licensed Veterinary Technician and Michigan native who moved to Missoula in October 2018. She has been in the veterinary profession for 10+ years and although she loves all animals, she has a special fondness and adoration for cats! Stefani is passionate about Emergency Medicine and is currently pursuing her Specialty Degree (VTS) in Emergency and Critical Care. When she is not working she enjoys spending time with her husband, Oliver.

Shelby

Shelby
Technician

Shelby has been working in the veterinary field for the past three years and has experience with small and large animal medicine. She graduated from Pima Medical Institute in January of 2021 and has become a Certified Veterinary Technician. Shelby is interested in becoming a specialist in either equine nursing or emergency critical care. She spends her free time hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting. She has two dogs, a cat, and a leopard gecko at home.

Claire

Claire
Surgery Technician

Claire is originally from outside of Chicago but has been coming to Montana her whole life to the family cabin. She graduated from Milwaukee Career College & got licensed in 2021. Claire quickly learned she had a passion in surgery & anesthesia while working in Wisconsin. Always having a desire to live here full time, she moved to Montana in 2022. Outside of work she enjoys floating, hiking, & just exploring Montana all around!

Ciara

Ciara
Technician

Ciara was born and raised in Montana. She always knew she wanted to work with animals. In 2018, she became a CVT and began her career. Her interests include emergency medicine, patient care, and canine massage. In her free time, you can find her on the river paddleboarding, hiking, or in the mountains picking huckleberries with her dogs Annie and Siegen.

Kasey

Kasey
Critical Care Department Supervisor

Kasey was born in Bozeman but grew up in Virginia. A few years ago, Kasey felt a familiar pull to be back in Montana. When an opportunity came up at Sentinel in January 2023, she packed up her two chihuahuas, Seamus and Delilah, and cats, Grizzle and Schmitty, and moved across the country to Missoula. Kasey enthusiastically joined the Sentinel team as the Critical Care Supervisor. Kasey graduated from Blue Ridge Community College's Veterinary Technology program and spent 7 years working in Internal Medicine. In 12 years of veterinary practice, she has also worked in shelter medicine, general practice and in raptor rehabilitation. Kasey's professional interests include critical nursing care, endoscopy, advanced imaging/diagnostics, and transfusion medicine, but she is also very passionate about mental health, especially in the veterinary community. When she's not working, Kasey loves riding motorcycles, snowmobiling, and exploring Montana's wild outdoors. 

Key

Key
Critical Care Assistant

Key is a member of our Critical Care team and has lived in Montana her whole life. She graduated from the University of Montana with a Wildlife Biology degree, so beyond dogs and cats she "oos" and "aws" at many other cute, wild critters. Her time outside of our clinic includes spending time with her pup, Finch, birding, doing art, having game nights with friends, and baking cookies at Mary's Mountain Cookies in downtown Missoula. Her favorite part about being on the CC team is helping find answers for owners and watching pets improve with proper treatment.

Carolyn

Carolyn
ER Technician

Carolyn’s love for animals and all things veterinary medicine began as a little girl watching her dad attend vet school and eventually start his own practice in the suburbs of Chicago. This love led her to the veterinary technology program at Michigan State University. While completing her Bachelors and becoming a licensed veterinary technician, she discovered a passion for emergency medicine, anesthesia, and surgery. In the Fall of 2022, Carolyn followed this passion halfway across the country to Montana, right into the Emergency department at Sentinel. When she is not working, Carolyn can often be found hiking with friends around Missoula or curled up with a book and her feisty cat Nyx.

Anna

Anna
ER Technician

Anna Ingram is from Washington State, growing up in agriculture-rich Skagit County, home of the Tulip Festival. She has earned her Bachelor's degree in Animal Science from Washington State University. Anna has joined us to continue improving her knowledge and skills in veterinary medicine while she applies to vet school. Her favorite activities include hiking, reading and spending time with her chocolate lab, True, and cat, Mia.

Kelly

Kelly
ER Technician

Kelly grew up northwest of Billings and then gradually ended up in Ohio after earning her bachelor’s degree. She has been a Licensed Veterinary Technician since 2009 and returned home to Montana in Oct 2021. She enjoys volunteering in addition to a variety of outdoor activities. Kelly was gratefully adopted by an amazing shelter dog named Fiona in January.

Arianne

Arianne
Assistant

Candace

Candace
Assistant

Brooke

Brooke
Assistant

Brooke was born and raised in Montana. She grew up doing 4H and raised pets ranging from turtles to cattle. Brooke has 3 dogs: Scrap, Willow and Sully. She loves spending her free time playing frisbee with her dogs, hiking and fishing.

Chesney

Chesney
CSC/Assistant

Chesney grew up in western Washington and attended college at Oregon State University where she quickly learned she wanted to work with animals, specifically cattle and horses. She bounced around working at various cattle ranches where she met her husband. She and her husband married in Montana where they now have three children. They feel at home here with their “herd” of dogs and kids!

Kate

Kate
CSC

Kate has worked coordinating care for both humans and dogs for many years now. After retiring from a successful career in healthcare & human services, she’s enjoyed the fast pace at Sentinel Veterinary. As a passionate animal lover - ask her about her dogs! She loves getting to meet new and returning clients every day. When Kate isn’t at work, she’s spending time outside hiking and walking with her Corgi, Bart, and teaching her grandsons how to have fun!

Kaytlin

Kaytlin
CSC

Kaytlin is a Hellgate High Graduate, born and raised in Missoula Montana. She received her Certificate of Completion for Veterinary Assistant from Helena College of Montana online course. Kaytlin has always had a love of animals, especially dogs. She hardly ever passes a dog without stopping and petting it. (With permission of course). She helped deliver puppies from her mama dog and that is really where the passion of wanting to work in the veterinary field came about. She kept one of the puppies as her own that she helped deliver. So, if you ever hear Kaytlin talk about Marley, he is her “big handsome boy” that is spoiled rotten with so much love and attention. She is very excited to work for Sentinel Veterinary and see all the animals and visit with the clients, and especially learning so much about animals. When Kaytlin is not at work, she is out camping, riding horses or just hanging out with her boyfriend “Trevor” and best friend “Marley”.

Mackenzee

Mackenzee
CSC

Mackenzee was raised in Western Washington and has always loved animals from a young age. She did 4-H with her horse, Toby, and even earned some medals. She is working toward her degree in Criminal Justice to become a Fish and Game Warden. When she is not working she is either hiking, camping, horseback riding, or take a nap with her German Shepherds, Zeus and Athena.