Our Team

Meet our talented doctors and staff!

CALL US

Independence Animal Hospital is proud to serve the Independence, KS area for everything pet-related. Our veterinary clinic and animal hospital is run by Dr. Edward Epp, Dr. Kathi Bolton, and Dr. Erin Parkinson who are licensed, experienced Independence veterinarians. Our team is committed to educating our clients in how to keep your pets healthy year-round with good nutrition and exercise. Independence Animal Hospital stays on top of the latest advances in veterinarian technology and above all, remembers that all animals and pets need to be treated with loving care during every check-up, procedure, or surgery.

Veterinarians

Dr. Edward Epp, DVM

Dr. Epp's Bio

Dr. Epp and his wife, Sherry, moved to Independence in June 1974 immediately after graduating from Kansas State University with his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. He came to accept a job offer as an associate veterinarian at what was then Hays Animal Hospital, working with Dr. Robert Hays, who had built the practice and buildings in the early ‘50s. Within a year, however, Dr. Hays encountered health issues that caused him to sell the practice. While owning a business just a year out of school had not been Dr. Epp’s plan, it was an opportunity he chose to accept and assumed ownership on Sept. 1, 1975. Dr. Epp went on to own the practice for the next 44 years! While a new entity assumed ownership in January of 2019, Dr. Epp continues to be an active, guiding presence in the practice.

Obtaining his DVM degree was the fulfillment of a dream that began for Dr. Epp in 6th grade. Throughout his childhood, Dr. Epp wanted a horse, but since the family lived in town, his parents vetoed the horse idea. One day in 6th grade, Dr. Epp was riding a friend’s horse when he fell off and broke his wrist. When his parents realized that in spite of the broken wrist, he still wanted a horse, they gave in. That first horse prompted Dr. Epp’s desire to become a vet. He has continued his enjoyment of not only horses but all of the variety of animals that have been a part of his life personally and professionally.

Because of his Christian faith, Dr. Epp’s life philosophy is guided by his compassion for people and animals and by his belief that his purpose is to serve others. His practice has always been based on honesty, fairness, integrity, and the best service he can give, and he expects the same of his staff.

Under Dr. Epp’s leadership the clinic has grown from 1 doctor and 1 staff person with one phone and no computers in 1975 to 3 doctors and 10 support staff and multiple phones and computers in 2020!. Through the years, Dr. Epp has held to high standards of cleanliness and odor control and this has been noticed and appreciated by countless clients. Immediately upon assuming ownership back in 1975, he improved the exterior appearance of the clinic, as well as the interior. A major remodel to more efficiently utilize space was done in 1997, and another major remodel along with an addition was accomplished in 2015. Also, a major “remodel” of large animal facilities in the late ’90s resulted in excellent facilities for handling and working cattle. Through the years, Dr. Epp has acquired updated and state of the art equipment which has included a hydraulic tilt chute for cattle, digital x-ray, state of the art dental equipment, ultrasound, laser therapy, and in-house lab equipment.

After serving as a veterinarian in the Independence community for 46 years, Dr. Epp can say that he enjoys his work now as much as ever. The variety, the challenge, and the satisfaction when an animal enjoys a healthy and happy life continue to be immensely rewarding!

Dr. Kathi Bolton, DVM

Dr. Bolton's Bio

Dr. Kathi Bolton joined Independence Animal Hospital in 2007 as an associate veterinarian. Before joining the Independence Animal Hospital staff, Dr. Bolton worked for 12 years in a four-doctor veterinary practice in Hot Springs, Arkansas specializing in small animal and exotics medicine.

Dr. Bolton works with Dr. Edward Epp and the staff to provide full-service veterinary care, which includes medicine, dentistry, surgery, in-house lab, and radiology, as well as preventive care and client education.

She was born and raised in the Fredonia, KS area and grew up on a farm that was the third largest hog farm in the state at the time. She attended Emporia State University and Kansas State University, where she received her bachelor’s degree and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.

Dr. Bolton has returned to the family farm. She enjoys fishing, acrylic painting, woodworking, carpentry, doing wildlife rehabilitation, working with raptors, and taking care of her own fish, chickens, turkeys, cockatiels, several reptiles, and numerous dogs and cats.

Dr. Erin Parkinson, DVM

Dr. Parkinson's Bio

Dr. Erin Parkinson was born and raised in Everson, WA, which is about two hours north of Seattle. Dr. Parkinson knew she wanted to be a vet when she was five years old, and that dream never left her! During her growing up years, she raised Saanen dairy goats for 4-H and developed a great love for these beautiful and delightful little animals!

Dr. Parkinson obtained a BA in biology from Willamette University in Salem, OR. In her undergraduate years, she was a competition swimmer, swimming the mile and breaststroke all four years at WU. She obtained her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Washington State University in May 2019. Dr. Parkinson loves all species of animals, but goats are her favorite! Her special professional interests include parasitology, surgery, and analgesia or pain management.

Among her many interests in addition to veterinary medicine, Dr. Parkinson enjoys hiking, traveling internationally, knitting, cooking gourmet meals, and throwing pottery. She also hopes to be able to keep bees and would love to be on a swim team! Of course, she also loves to attend goat shows!

Veterinary Technicians

Allie Stephens, RVT

TyLynn Botts, RVT

Stephanie Smith, RVT

Natasha Sack

Practice Manager

Laci Marchant

Kennel Technicians

Elizabeth Edawards
Hevin Tarp
Hannah Decayo

Receptionists

Lindsey Dean
Jade Keath

TEAM BIOS

Allie Stephens - Lead RVT

Allie has been with Independence Animal Hospital for eight years. She graduated from the Independence Community College Vet Tech program in 2013. Her education paired with her endless love and passion for animals makes her a great asset to the IAH team.

In Allie’s spare time, she loves to spend time at home with her family. Her immediate family consists of Morgan; Boozer, their 13-year-old Basset Hound; Lucky, their 12-year-old lab; Willow, their 2-year-old lab; and all their kitties, Flip, Frank, Khloe, Myles, and Stormy. Allie has always had a love for animals, and she always knew this would be what she does. Her hobbies include the Kansas Jayhawks, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Royals, She loves traveling and tries to go to Florida at least once a year when she isn’t traveling or at a ballgame. She enjoys walking the dogs and playing with the cats.

TyLynn Botts - RVT

TyLynn has been with Independence Animal Hospital for nine years. She started working for IAH when she was a sophomore in high school. She graduated from the Independence Community College Vet Tech program in 2017. Her education and work ethic along with her love for animals, especially cows, allow her to enjoy what she does to the fullest.

In TyLynn’s free time, she loves to go riding in her buggy with her boyfriend, Talon. If they aren’t out riding, you can find them at the lake on the pontoon. TyLynn and Talon are parents to 10-year-old coonhound named Chevy and a 9-year-old Heinz 57 named Daisy, along with their sibling kitties, Billie, Bob and Kitten Poo, and two peacocks, Bonnie and Clyde.

Stephanie Smith - RVT

Stephanie has been with Independence Animal Hospital for1year. She graduated from the Independence Community College Vet Tech program in 2019. Stephanie’s ability to think outside the box and her laid back, calm, cool, and collected personality is just what this team needs on our busiest of days.

Stephanie’s quirky and sarcastic personality fit in just right with the rest of us of here at IAH. When she is not working here, she is spending time with her family and her church family or working out at the gym or playing with her black lab, Lily. She enjoys trying new recipes and finding different ways to stay motivated for her daily workouts.

Natasha Sack - VT

Natasha (AKA Nash) has been with Independence Animal Hospital for two and a half years. She graduated from the Independence Community College Vet Tech program in 2018. Her education and deep connection with and love of animals are what give her the drive to do her best work here at IAH. She brings much joy to the team and is an excellent role model in showing love for the animals and clients in her care.

In Nash’s free time, you can find her parasailing at Lake Tahoe or hiking the canyons and deserts of Las Vegas. If she isn’t traveling, she is caring for all her furbabies: Baby Girl, Cooper, Delilah, Hank, Jersey, Juniper, Lucy, Toby, Tux, and Zara. She also enjoys trying different foods and could eat the hot dog champion of the world under the table!

Laci Marchant - Practice Manager

Laci has been working in veterinary medicine for a total of five years, as an assistant for two and front desk receptionist for three, and has taken on the role of practice manager this year. The best part of her job is her passion and love for caring for the animals and making sure our clients feel good about the services they were provided. She loves everyone she works with and enjoys the camaraderie between the team at Independence Animal Hospital.

In her spare time, she is a very busy mom of three kids, Maddy, Mattox, and Maesyn. Finishing up her family is her husband, Jay, and two dogs, Darby and Axel, along with three cats, Oreo, Nibbles, and Millie. All of her animals are hazards of the job and were brought home due to needing a home through work.

Laci’s hobbies include going to her children’s sporting events. Maddy, a junior in high school finished 10th in the state of Kansas in the 200-meter dash as a freshman and is active in volleyball as well. Mattox plays football in the fall and will be running track for his middle school this year. Maesyn goes to gymnastics to top it all off. When Laci isn’t cheering on one of her kiddos, she likes to ride her side by side with her husband and attend music festivals and concerts.

Lindsey Dean - Lead Receptionist

Lindsey has been working for Independence Animal Hospital for one year. She came into the veterinary industry without any prior experience, and in the past year, she has really grown her knowledge and love of everything vet med. Lindsey is a positive light in everyone’s day at IAH, and she keeps everyone on their toes and smiling. We are lucky to have her as part of our team.

In her spare time, you can find her at her seven-year-old on Landry’s football, basketball, or baseball games or going for a nice cruise when the weather is nice. She is also proud mom of her three-year-old cat, Felix, and helps take care of her mom’s dog, Bella.

Jade Keath - Receptionist

Jade just joined the IAH team. She comes to us with hopes to further her education in veterinary medicine. She is learning and catching on quickly. She has been a longtime client of IAH, and we couldn’t be happier to have as part of the team!

In Jade’s spare time, she loves to read and go hiking with her BFF, Jackson, who is a two-year-old collie mix. You can also find her traveling around the country finding new adventures. She loves spending time with her friends and family the most!

Linus – Clinic Cat

Linus' Bio

Linus was admitted to our hospital in 2016. He came to us injured from being caught in a running car engine. He was soon surrendered to us, when we tended to his invasive wounds for several months. Dr. Epp thought he was such a good patient that we would just adopt him as our clinic cat. He has been with us ever since. He is a very laid back, lazy but handsome kitty. He keeps us all in line here at IAH, and he trolls the clinic daily, eating all the fur balls off the floor and making sure all the doctors and techs are doing what they are supposed to be doing. He gets lots of love from all the clients and lots of treats, too!