Bigfork Animal Hospital - Bigfork, MT - Our Doctors

Bigfork Animal Hospital

7575 MT HWY 35
Bigfork, MT 59911


 Meet Our Doctors


Jim Thompson, DVM

Jim 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.

	 China Prentice, DVM

China Prentice, DVM

I grew up with a slew of dogs and horses, and rode competitively through my childhood and into the present.  I completed my bachelor's degree in developmental Biology from Cal State University - Fullerton, and then graduated from Western University, School of Veterinary Medicine in 2015.  I also pursued and am completing my Masters in Public Health via a dual degree program through University of Minnesota - Minneapolis.  I chose to go into small animal medicine for my love of companion animals, especially our hunting breeds. I love taking care of working dogs, and am very involved in North Valley Search and Rescue with my tracking Walker hound Johnnie!  I have lived in Montana for 4 years now and love every season here.  I have a daughter and several dogs and horses, and we are always out on adventures camping, on horseback, or scouting/hunting.  I look forward to continuing to serve our community in both the veterinary and outdoor worlds

Kelly Powell, DVM

Kelly Powell, DVM

I received my B.A. in Biology from Cornell University and then returned to my native state to attend The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Following graduation, I worked in emergency medicine for a few years and then settled next to Lake Superior in Duluth, Minnesota, to practice general small animal medicine and raise my three children. I enjoyed many years of canoeing in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, fishing for walleye, and cross country skiing in the popples and pines, but my heart kept leading me back to the mountains (they were calling…).

So — I packed my three tuxedo cats and two Golden Retrievers into the Subaru and headed west. I am thrilled to be part of the Bigfork Animal Hospital team and am really looking forward to meeting my new patients! I believe strongly in the human-animal bond and am passionate about partnering with families in the care of their pets. My special areas of interest include dentistry, oncology, and behavior.

I like to spend my free time outdoors, and I cannot wait to lace up my boots, shoulder my pack, and explore the Flathead Valley. I also love to downhill ski and am already looking forward to next winter! When I’m not out on the trails, I enjoy relaxing in my kitchen and trying new recipes.

Dr Casey

Casey Elliott, DVM

 Dr. Casey Elliott first started working in the veterinary industry in the year 2000, as an animal attendant whilst she was still in high school in her hometown of Perth, Western Australia. During this time she was also working towards a Certificate 2 in Animal Studies, which she obtained in 2001. Since then she has worked in just about every possible position there is in a veterinary clinic - including as a junior groomer, veterinary receptionist, veterinary nurse, puppy preschool instructor and practice manager. In 2012 she obtained her Certificate 4 in Veterinary Nursing and in 2013 she started her position as a full time Lecturer of Veterinary Nursing at TAFE International Western Australia, which she thoroughly enjoyed for 5 years. In 2017 Dr. Casey finally made the decision to pursue the only other position that she hadn't yet tried - the veterinarian - and started vet school!

During her time at university Dr. Casey also worked as the student representative for the pet nutrition company, Royal Canin. In 2021 she graduated from Murdoch University with a Bachelor of Science (Veterinary Biology) and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, and received awards for client communication and devotion to animal care, the companion animal welfare award, and two vice chancellors commendations for academic excellence. She worked for two years as a small animal veterinarian on Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada, before starting her position at Whitefish and Bigfork Animal Hospitals.

Living and working in Whitefish has been a long awaited dream for Dr. Casey, which started when she first visited in 2008 and fell in love with the mountains, the snow, the community and the Montana way of life. Dr Casey lives with her husband Heath, and their three senior animals (all of whom made the big journey with them from Australia, to Canada, and finally, the USA!) - Moose (the chocolate Labrador), Dexter (the Burmese cat) and Vincent (the Devon Rex cat). In her spare time she loves travelling, snowboarding, hiking, reformer pilates and stand up paddle boarding. Professionally she has a special interest in soft tissue surgery, endocrinology, behaviour, anaesthesia and anything to do with cats (she is a self confessed crazy cat lady!) and is also passionate about teaching and client education.