Spring McKee, Veterinarian/Owner
Spring was born and raised in the big state of Wyoming. As a kid she was surrounded with all kinds of different animals and was passionate about their care and the bond between animals and their people . Her decision to pursue veterinary medicine was an easy one and the deal was sealed when in high school she was involved in the successful rehab and care of a sick foal born to her own mare. Her journey to veterinary school began with undergraduate studies at the University of Wyoming, where she also met and married her husband, life partner, and best friend, James. She attended veterinary school at Colorado State University and graduated with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 1996. She and her husband moved to Polson, Montana where she worked as an associate veterinarian for 10 years, before she, with the support of her husband, opened the doors of VetCare Montana in 2006. She and her husband raised their two daughters, who are both college aged now, in and amongst the critters that arrived for care at VetCare Montana. She is so very proud of both her daughters and VetCare Montana.
Professionally, she strives to keep up on the latest medicine that provides the very best level of care for all her patients and works to effectively communicate with their caretakers and owners. She enjoys surgery and loves to use a CO2 laser for better surgical recovery and outcomes. She is PennHip certified for screening of hip dysplasia. Her favorite part of veterinary medicine is the variety and the daily affirmation of the amazing human animal bond. There are so many different aspects to care, type of patients, personality of patients and owners that her days are rarely boring.
When she is not at work, she spends her time with her husband James and her dogs. She likes to draw and paint. She volunteers with the Lake County 4-H dog program and spends a large portion of her free time with an incredible group of people and dogs across western Montana enjoying the sport of dog agility. She loves her Shetland Sheepdog agility partners and the agility sport. She has even competed multiple times at NADAC Agility National Championships, with top placings in her division. She still has horses although they are mostly geriatrics living and eating out the remainder of their best life in retirement. She and her husband, James, enjoy travel when time allows, but still come back to the Mission Valley knowing it’s the best place on earth to live.
James McKee, Owner/Business manager
James grew up in a military family and spent his childhood in multiple places. He went to the University of Wyoming, earned his bachelor’s degree in math education, met and married Spring. He worked for an advertising agency in Ft. Collins, Colorado and applied for teaching jobs while Spring was pursuing her studies in veterinary school. He started his teaching career in Briggsdale, Colorado in 1994 and taught until 1996. He moved to Polson, Montana with Spring in 1996 and started teaching with Upward Bound until 1998. He then obtained a math teaching position in Polson High School. He finished his Masters in Math education in 2008 at the University of Montana and he has continued to teach math at Polson High School since 1998. In 2006, he helped open the doors of VetCare Montana and has remained an integral part of the success of the business. He is a teacher by day, and business manager and general fixer of all things at VetCare Montana outside of teaching.
When he is not at work at either of his jobs, he is an active and dedicated volunteer firefighter since 2013 in both the Polson Rural Fire District and the Polson City fire department. He has participated in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Firefighter Stairclimb at Columbia Tower in Seattle for the last ten years. He spends the rest of his free time with his wife and “shopping” in his woodshop making sawdust (aka man glitter)!
Rachel Thorpe, Licensed Veterinary Technician
Rachel grew up in Three Forks and Whitefish Montana. Rachel has been a LVT at our clinic for the last 15 years. She is a graduate of the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls, ID where she obtained an Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology degree. She has two special needs dogs that she rescued. When she is not at the clinic she enjoys taking her dogs for walks around our beautiful city of Polson. Rachel also volunteers with the Lake County 4-H dog program.
Kim Kendall, Licensed Veterinary Technician
Kim is from Novato, California. She obtained her Associates in Applied Science from Murray State College in Tishomingo, Oklahoma and her Bachelor’s of Science in Ag Business with a minor in Animal Science from Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma where she also played softball for 4 years. Kim has been an LVT at our clinic for the last 15 years. She and her husband have 3 children Tyler, Nikki, and Ryan. When she is not at work, Kim enjoys crafting and beading, watching her daughter play softball, and her son rodeo. She is also an active volunteer with the Lake County 4-H program.
Sarah Szmergalski, Customer Service Representative
Sarah is from Hilmar, California. Sarah has been our receptionist/veterinary assistant at VetCare Montana for the last 4 years. Sarah has 3 dogs, 2 cats, 4 horses, and raises Black Angus Cows with her husband and her 3 young children. When she is not at work, Sarah is helping her husband run their Cattle Ranch and chasing after their children. She is an active volunteer with Lake County 4-H. She is a busy working mom and ranch wife and would have it no other way.