Dr. Sarah Lavelle


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A native of the United Kingdom, Dr. Lavelle earned her professional degree in Veterinary Medicine from The Royal Veterinary College, London University in 2001. Growing up on a working dairy farm that helped train many veterinary students from Liverpool University, inspired her to pursue her passion of working with animals. Upon graduation she spent several months on the epidemiology team of DEFRA (Department of the Environment, Fisheries and Rural Affairs) in the British government to address the Foot and Mouth Disease crisis. While completing her professional curriculum she successfully completed the NAVLE (North American Veterinary Licensing Examination) and was licensed to practice veterinary medicine and surgery in North America. She chose to pursue further education and was invited to complete a 1 year large animal internship teaching senior veterinary students and gleaning from professors at Washington State University.

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After completing her work at Washington State University, she chose to take a position as an associate mixed animal veterinarian in Bozeman and successfully completed her Montana licensure examination. After tasting the outdoor lifestyle of the Rocky Mountains, the unlimited trails to explore and the wholesome quality of life, she settled down to call Bozeman her home. Dr. Sarah is no stranger to the Gallatin Valley. She has practiced mixed animal veterinary medicine in Bozeman full time since 2002, not only at local veterinary hospitals, but also at the Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter and on various wildlife research teams. In February 2011, she opened Ark Veterinary Practice, with the vision of creating an integrative veterinary hospital that treated all species — one which not only provides the most current technology and medical techniques, but also offers nutritional counseling, acupuncture, laser therapy and chiropractic, while maintaining a family atmosphere with personal care. Dr. Sarah is devoted to promoting the powerful human-animal bond and the special relationship that exists between people and their pets. Her professional interests include internal medicine, exotics, preventative care, feline medicine, soft tissue surgery, dentistry and senior wellness care. With over 15 years of full time clinical experience Dr. Sarah still enjoys learning at continuing education seminars around the country and internationally. Sarah has the privilege of being an active member of our community by volunteering her time at the local animal shelters, teaching GED in the detention center, helping with the Annual Bozeman Christmas stroll and serving a the Community Cafe. She has also had the opportunity to serve overseas in Europe, Bolivia, Turkey and Tanzania. During her free time, Sarah loves spending time with her friends and family and enjoys spending as much time in the great outdoors as possible. If you see her out on a trail, she’s sure to be accompanied by her border collie Jessie Jane. Her favorite activities include horse riding, dancing, floating the rivers and back country skiing.


Client Care Coordinator

Megan is a Midwest native who moved to Montana for the wildlife and all that the outdoors of the Big Sky has to offer. While she grew up in northern Illinois riding horses and playing music, her love for animals and their care began to blossom. She earned her B.A. in 2009 in Education at Rocky Mountain College and her B.S. in 2017 in Wildlife Management from Montana State University. Megan joined Ark Veterinary Practice with a wide array of life experiences including team management and leadership skills and she brings a variety of viewpoints to the Ark Care Team. She takes a special interest in developing and strengthening the Client-Veterinarian-Patient-Bond so that every patient receives the best possible care and so that every pet parent leaves informed and confident with the treatment plan. She is an integral part in maintaining a Fear Free environment for both the patients and the clients at Ark Veterinary Practice. Read More

Megan thrives on the daily variety that working at a center that serves all species brings and she especially enjoys the exotics cases. No one day is like another as she tends to clients needs and is in an integral part of case management. Megan is a life long learner and passionate problem solver so enjoys exploring and implementing new ways to help our clients and our patients each day. To this end, Megan regularly takes advantage of continuing education classes on topics such as canine and feline nutrition and practice management. In her spare time Megan likes to volunteer at the Montana Raptor Conservation Center. Megan and her husband have a cat and a plethora of tropical fish, and look forward to tending a menagerie of animals once they expand their roots in Montana.


Animal Care Coordinator

Stevie is a Montana native who has grown up with a love and passion for helping a wide variety of animals. Stevie knew from a very young age that she wanted to pursue a career in veterinary medicine and so has made it her life long pursuit. She showed a variety of animals in 4H including horses, pigs, poultry, goats llamas, rabbits and even a chinchilla and a gecko. Stevie spent several years competing in rodeo and enjoys barrel racing in her free time. Stevie is currently attending Montana State University to gain her bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and plans to apply to veterinary school in the Fall of 2019.  Stevie joined Ark Veterinary Practice in 2016 and plans on spending the next 3 years growing with the practice. Her special interests are in equine reproduction and surgical assisting. 

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Stevie is a great asset to the Ark Care Team because of her large animals skills, her IT skills, her persistence to get deadlines met, and her determination to give every patient the very best of care. Stevie enjoys spending time with her family on the weekends and helping with chores at her parents ranch where she keeps her menagerie of animals including 6 mini donkeys and her miniature zebu.


Veterinary Assistant

Justine is a Florida native who joined the Ark care team in 2016 after volunteering to gain experience in the field of veterinary medicine. She graduated from the University of Montana with a bachelors degree in psychology and has worked with at risk children for the past 5 years in group home care. She chose to go back to school to pursue her dream of becoming a veterinarian and should have her prerequisites for her application to veterinary school in the Fall of 2018.  Justine has always loved working with people and is excited to combine her passion for people with her passion for animals. Her interests include building client relationships, shelter care and animal sanctuary work. 

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Justine is a great asset to the Ark Care Team because of her positive upbeat personality, her attention to detail, her kindness to people and animals and her ability to multi task. When she is not busy at school or working she can be found out in the woods backpacking, climbing mountains, camping and fishing.


Veterinary Technician

Nicole came to Montana on a full ride Honors Program Scholarship from Minnesota and graduated from Montana State University in Bio-engineering with a minor in Spanish in 2015. After volunteering at Ark Veterinary Practice in 2014 during her engineering degree she realized her life dream of pursuing veterinary medicine as a career. While working full time at the Ark she continued her studies to complete her prerequisites for veterinary school and began her degree in veterinary medicine at the University of Wisconsin in the Fall of 2016.  With her first year of veterinary school under her belt, Nicole received a grant to complete a primate research project in Columbia. She continues to work seasonally at the Ark and hopes to return to Bozeman to continue serving the animals and their owners that she has grown so fond of over the past 3 years.

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Her current special interests are in exotic medicine, zoonoses and the human-animal bond. Nicole continues to be a great asset to the Ark Care Team because of her exotic animal interests, her research skills, her great memory, and her compassion. She looks forward to reconnecting with everyone again this Summer in the beautiful Gallatin Valley.

Gertie Fickes

Gertie joined the team at Ark Veterinary Practice as a Veterinary Technician in 2019 from Chester County, PA. Gertie was born and raised in Cape Elizabeth, Maine and attended Great Bay Community College, where she earned her Associates in Science degree in Veterinary Technology in 2011. Gertie has always had a love for animals and began pursuing her professional career while at Cape Elizabeth High School working for 6 years at Suntar Kennels. While attending Great Bay Community College to become a Certified Veterinary Technician, she also volunteered at the New Hampshire SPCA and completed her college CVT internship at Pine Point Animal Hospital in Scarborough, ME. After graduation, she moved to Chester County, PA where she was able to use her Veterinary Technician skills caring for patients at Brandywine Valley SPCA, Glenmoore Veterinary Hospital, and Spring Mills Veterinary Hospital. While visiting family in Big Sky, the mountains and rivers of Montana called them to move out west to become part of the thriving outdoor community here in the Gallatin Valley. Gertie loves to serve our clients and to help promote the human-animal bond with education which in turn allows a better understanding of how patients are doing at home so that subtle early signs of sickness can be detected sooner allowing our patients to stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Over the past 10 years as a veterinary technician, Gertie’s special interests have included client education, preventative wellness care, laboratory diagnostics, and anesthesia. She really loves the team approach to veterinary medicine that Ark Veterinary Practice upholds, allowing the clients and the entire staff team to be involved in the treatment and care of each patient. She looks forward to many more years professionally serving alongside Dr. Sarah and the rest of the team at Ark Veterinary Practice. Gertie, and her husband Andrew, spend their free time camping and enjoy fishing and hunting along side their beloved yellow lab Drake.

1740 East Baseline Road
Belgrade, MT 59714
Monday – Friday: 7:30am – 6:00pm
Saturday & Sunday: By appointment only!
Available 24/7 for client emergencies!