How Our Journey began
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!