Meet the Team

White Mountain Animal Hospital is a fully equipped clinic led by the most experienced veterinarian in the White Mountains. He has knowledge of a large variety of species and the practical application of medicine, surgery, and other treatment. His employees all have a history in the medical field and are experiencing the extent of care an animal can receive. We believe in genuine care for our patients and their caretakers with a unique, personal approach to assure the wellbeing and success of clients and the pets they love.

  • OleJosie
    Ole Alcumbrac, DVM
    Medical Director

    Dr. Ole Alcumbrac is the medical director here at White Mountain Animal Hospital.  He is also the Director of Wildlife Health Services, which specializes in immobilization and capture of native and exotic species. He provides clinical and consultation services for both private and public collections of wild animals and serves as a consulting veterinarian for Departments of the Arizona Game and Fish, the White Mountain Apache Game and Fish, the New Mexico Game and Fish, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.  Dr. Ole is the lead veterinarian for the Mexican Wolf Project, the Sonoran Pronghorn Project and multiple game and nongame species studies.

    Since 1994, Dr. Ole has owned and operated our friendly mixed animal and exotic practice in northern Arizona, providing treatment to any animal that comes through the door. Our practice has overseen several zoological operations, including patients from the prestigious Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, the Phoenix Zoo, and Bearizona Wildlife Park. Additionally, Dr. Ole is a recipient of the Award of Excellence from the Arizona Game and Fish Commission. Dr. Ole serves as an adjunct faculty member at Texas Tech University and is a past Instructor of Veterinary Sciences at Northland Pioneer College. He also teaches formal classes and practicals internationally on wildlife capture. When not working in the southwest, he continues providing veterinary services in other regions, such as  Argentina, Peru, and Mexico to all points in the United States. A native Arizonan, he moved here to the White Mountains for one reason; to enjoy the greatest outdoors in the state and to ski.  Also a pilot and a diver, Dr. Ole is always up for traveling and various adventures.  When Dr. Ole isn’t rescuing endangered species in the deserts and mountains, he enjoys going to his house south of the Mexican border to dive, fish, or just enjoy drinking a margarita on the beach.  He is the proud father of two awesome sons as well!

    Here in the White Mountains, Dr. Ole is well-known & loved. As one of the most established veterinarians in the area, most folks have heard his name here or there. He loves seeing your pets and helping you to both understand and correct any issues they may be experiencing as much as he loves his work with our local & foreign wildlife! 

    Finally, he has another unusual hobby: Television. In 2017 he hosted an Outdoor Channel original series, “Wild Ops” highlighting his wildlife work. Currently, his entire encompassing career is featured on National Geographic Wild’s, “The Wildlife of Dr. Ole”. Your doc here is the star!

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    Robert Evans, DVM
    Relief Veterinarian

    Dr. Robert Evans joined our team in 2017 as a relief veterinarian for when Dr. Ole is out on his wildlife adventures. He was born and raised by an agricultural family in a small town in Iowa. He later moved to Arizona where he completed his high school education. He joined the Navy in 1964 during the Vietnam era to avoid being drafted into the Army. There, he worked in an intelligence gathering position against the Russians, Chinese, and Northern Vietnamese. 

    After 10 years of service, Dr. Evans decided to return to school. He attended Iowa State University, where received an Honors degree in Animal Science, and in 1981, a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. He went into college with 3 children, and had 5 by the time of graduation. Currently, he is up to 19 grandchildren! 

    Dr. Evans practiced for one year here in the White Mountains before moving to Mesa to work at an emergency clinic. He then started his own mixed animal practice in Gilbert, Arizona. He owned and operated Gilbert Animal Hospital until selling in 2013 to semi-retire and begin his work as a relief veterinarian. 

    He currently lives with his lovely wife in Pinedale, AZ, where they spend time gardening, traveling, and enjoying the mountains. 

    Since joining the practice, Dr. Evans has performed a multitude of surgical procedures, and is usually at the hospital 1-2 times per week seeing appointments.

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    Ben Merkel, DVM
    Associate Veterinarian

    Dr. Merkel is a graduate of Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. He had primarily focused on large and livestock animals during his first year out of school, and is now getting the mixed animal experience! Dr. Merkel, his wife, and their 7 children recently moved to the White Mountains and are enjoying the change in scenery. We are excited that he has decided to call White Mountain Animal Hospital home.

  • Dr. Kathryn Halstead
    Kathryn Halstead, DVM
    Relief Veterinarian

    Dr. Halstead came on board as a relief veterinarian, and we have been so ecstatic to have her as part of the team. She is a phenomenal veterinarian and surgeon, and a Colorado State University alum. She also completed studies and certifications with Chi Institute for Veterinary Acupuncture.

    She has spent her career learning numerous aspects of medicine, including spending 8 years in large animal practice, and 11 years in small animal. Her special interests are soft tissue surgery, integrative practice, and shelter medicine & surgery. Most recently, she has become involved with the Humane Society of Southern Arizona from 2012-2022, serving as medical director from 2020-2022. 

    Dr. Halstead currently serves on spay/neuter mission trips with Visiting Veterinarians International to various worldwide locations, providing much-needed medical services and surgeries to animals who may otherwise go without help. Her favorite part of veterinary medicine is being able to witness the human-animal bond, and seeing how pets truly become family members. 

    Outside of veterinary medicine, Dr. Halstead spends time with her husband of 15 years, and their two fur kids, Leeroy & Burglar. She participates in activities such as skiing, hiking, scuba diving, and Jiu Jitsu. 

    Fun fact, Dr. Halstead is WAY tougher than most of us! She captained the Tucson Roller Derby’s travel team, 'The Saddletramps' & has competed throughout the country in roller derby events. She is also a member of the 3-time AZ state championship team, Tucson Roller Derby’s Copper Queens!

  • Dr. Norris
    Katie Norris, DVM

    Dr. Katie Norris is our newest associate veterinarian! She is originally from Sparks, Nevada and has always had a strong passion for caring for animals. She completed her Bachelor's degree at Oregon State University and during undergrad, she fell in love with large animal medicine while working for the school's sheep, beef, and horse barns. She pursued that love to Kansas State University and earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 2022. She is very excited to join the team and help serve the White Mountains!

    Her professional interests include equine and large animal medicine, surgery, wound care, herd management, and obstetrics. She loves all animals but sheep and camels are her favorite to work with.

    When not in the clinic, Dr. Norris spends her free time with her two German Shepherds, Kya and Suki. Her hobbies include hiking with the shepherds, practicing and playing music, watercolors, crochet, and caring for her herpetarium at home. 

  • Melissa Pearson CEqD
    Melissa Pearson, CEqD
    Certified Equine Dentist & Electro-Equiscope Technician

    Melissa is the only Certified Equine Dentist in the area. She offers teeth float consultation and services, with the procedures being performed at White Mountain Animal Hospital. 

    Teeth flotation refers to the re-shaping of your horses teeth to remove sharp points to allow for a more even grinding pattern to help your horse better chew and digest their feed. 

    Melissa is also the owner & operator of Southwest Electro-Equiscope Therapy. She completed her studies and certifications to become the only technologist in the area to offer microcurrent therapy using the Electro-Equiscope. 

    Melissa applies plates or probes using a special conduction gel to the appropriate areas of the body. A microcurrent is then run to the targeted area to promote stimulation and healing, much like the science of acupuncture; only now using low-level frequencies instead of needles. Most sessions last anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. 

    'The Electro-Equiscope® technology is a microcurrent electrotherapeutic technology proven to rapidly eliminate pain and reduce inflammation in every area of the body. It is the new standard in electro-neural and myostimulation.' (

    There are numerous benefits from this groundbreaking technology to both humans and animals in overall healing & rejuvenation.

    Learn more about the Electro-Equiscope and its applications by clicking the link, and feel free to call Melissa to discuss whether it's time for your horse's teeth flotation! 

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    Lacey Jones
    Practice Manager

    We are so excited to have Lacey back as part of the White Mountain Animal Hospital team; not only as one of our skilled veterinary technicians, but also as our current practice manager! She has been working in the veterinary field for nearly 20 years now, and is currently enrolled in San Juan College's Veterinary Technician Program to obtain her CVT. Her favorite thing about veterinary medicine is the opportunity to learn something new every day, and is grateful to have witnessed the growth of our field over the past 20 years. Her least favorite part about veterinary medicine is encountering those patients who just can't be helped, and watching her favorite patients grow old and cross the rainbow bridge.

    Lacey has 2 dogs and one barn kitty at home; and loves taking her pups Mali & Quila antler hunting as often as she can. 

    Outside of the office, she loves to go horseback riding, travel, and attend music festivals & concerts. 

    Fun fact - she can often name any country song you play for her within the first few seconds of hearing it! Feel free to challenge her at your next visit.

  • Chasity Shilo
    Chastity Lamb
    Lead Veterinary Technician

    Chasity started as a volunteer at White Mountain Animal Hospital in her junior year of high school and has since become our rockstar lead veterinary technician. She states, 'I hope I always have the privilege of working for Dr. Ole; I learn a lot from working with him and his team. I have a passion for working here because I care about the animals we see and the quality of services that they receive.'

  • Katie Tech
    Katie Wyatt
    Wildlife Technician

    Katie is an Arizona native, but new to the White Mountain area. She spent most of her weekends as a child visiting the White Mountains hunting, fishing, and enjoying the beauty of this wonderful part of our state. She is excited to be up here full time. Katie joined us after completing her bachelor's degree in Animal Science at Brigham Young University where she spent most of her time meandering with the large animals both in education and in the shadow of the Grand Tetons. While she was there, she worked with over 200 head of horses and mules for an outfitter. She is excited to get to know smaller companion animals and further love them the way she does our larger species and wildlife. Ever since graduating she has been looking for a practice that would grant her the opportunity to learn all species and help their owners. Her hobbies outside of work are photography, anything outdoors, and of course anything horses. She is beyond excited to further her development in animal science/education from Dr. Ole and his amazing team.

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    Deborah Thompson
    Large Animal Technician

    Deborah is one of our rockstar veterinary technicians. She joined us after spending years working as a technician in Wyoming, and then again at the local Humane Society. She has 2 horses, 5 cats, and 3 dogs. When not in the office, you can typically find her on the back of a horse enjoying the beautiful White Mountain landscape!

  • Christina CSR
    Christina Truong
    Lead Customer Service Representative

    Christina joined the team in March of 2022, and has been such a wonderful addition! She brought with her over 10 years of experience in veterinary medical reception, and we are grateful for her energy and expertise. Christina and her boyfriend recently bought land in the area, and are looking to build a small self-sustaining farm. Outside of the office, you may find her hiking, camping, reading, or spending time with her dog, cats, chickens & goats!

  • Dawn Assistant
    Dawn Steele
    Veterinary Technician

    Dawn recently joined our team and has been a wonderful asset. Dawn had been part of the NAVY Reserves in the early 2000's, and obtained her Medical Assistant certificate shortly after. Prior to that, she was a Certified Nursing Assistant for over 10 years and caregiver to a Marine combat veteran. Dawn had always loved animals and had once dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. She has now been in the veterinary field for about 2 years, and is starting her schooling to obtain her official CVT to be a certified Veterinary Technician. Dawn a single mother of 5 girls, ranging in age from 16 to 24 years old. Dawn was born in Oklahoma, raised in California, and then finally settled in the White Mountains in 2019. Outside of the hospital, Dawn enjoys spending time with her family and pets.

  • Sean and Josie
    Sean Penrod
    Kennel Assistant

    Sean joined the White Mountain Animal Hospital team last year as a kennel assistant and has been a wonderful addition to the team! His favorite thing about working here at the clinic is seeing & helping all sorts of different animals. He says he also enjoys working with such an amazing team. His least favorite thing about veterinary medicine, so far, is seeing animals who are terminally sick and have to be assisted over the Rainbow Bridge. In his free time, Sean enjoys cheering on the Denver Broncos and drinking an ice cold Dr. Pepper!

  • Dani
    Danielle "Dani" Anderson
    Veterinary Assistant

    Danielle, “Dani” for short, has been a part of the White Mountain Animal Hospital team since April of 2023. She has been a phenomenal addition to the team!
    Since she was little, she's always dreamed about caring for animals. She decided in high school she wanted to learn Marine Biology and Wildlife Biology. These topics have been her passion for as long as she can remember. When she moved here from California a few years ago, she got her first job as a veterinary assistant and she absolutely fell in love with all the beautiful animals that she was able to help. Dani says that the science behind all that we do is absolutely incredible to learn. Her hope and dream is that one day she may be able to work with marine animals.
    Outside of work, she enjoys exploring the outdoors with her fur babies. Camping, hiking, traveling etc. As well as spending time with her family and friends. 

  • Chasity Lambert
    Chasity Lambert
    Veterinary Technician/Assistant

    Chasity joined the White Mountain Animal Hospital team in November of 2023 as a veterinary technician and we are very happy to have her. She has been an amazing asset to our team.

    Since she was a child, Chasity has always had a connection with animals. She graduated in 2008 from Pima medical institute, and has been a veterinary technician for 16 years. In her free time she enjoys being in nature kayaking, camping, and spending time with her husband and 2 children. She has 3 dogs, 5 cats, 3 rabbits, and a few chickens at home. Random facts about Chasity: her favorite animal is a donkey and she enjoys cheering on the Red Wings!

  • Melissa
    Melissa Johnson
    Veterinary Technician/Assistant

    We will be welcoming Melissa to the team in April 2024 and we can't wait to have her!
    Melissa grew up in Virginia and spent the majority of her time riding and showing horses and ponies. She competed in Pony Pleasure, Pony Equitation, Pony Hunter, and Equitation over fences.
    In 2016, she moved to the White mountains and fell in love with the hiking trails and started to dabble in photography.
    She says that you may call her a little crazy because her choice of dog is the Husky. She has multiple of her own as well as a few cats. 
    In her free time, she enjoys relaxing with a good book or playing video games.
    She has been in veterinary medicine for 2 years and enjoys every moment she gets to spend with animals. From the good cases to the bad, she tries to help every human and pet feel better.

Hours of Operation


8:00 am - 5:00 pm


8:00 am - 5:00 pm


8:00 am - 5:00 pm


8:00 am - 5:00 pm


8:00 am - 5:00 pm


9:00 am - 12:00 pm



8:00 am - 5:00 pm
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
9:00 am - 12:00 pm