Our Team

We’re dedicated to providing the best care for your pet!

Our Team of Experts

Dr. Kevin Cooper, DVM — Veterinarian

Dr. Kevin Cooper was born and raised in southeast Kansas. He graduated from Kansas State University in 2006. After working in western Kansas for two years, Dr. Cooper moved to Independence and has been a Barta Animal Hospital team member since 2008. Dr. Cooper is a mixed animal veterinarian with experience in many species, but he is especially interested in small animal surgery and cow-calf production medicine.

A “normal day” can include anything from routine and orthopedic surgeries, caring for dogs and cats, pulling calves, working herds of cattle, or a trip to the zoo. He has the philosophy that if you can find it in Kansas, our team will do our best to keep it healthy. When he is not at work, Dr. Cooper enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter. He especially enjoys taking his daughter fishing, kayaking, and hiking. Dr. Cooper also likes to do woodworking and always has a list of projects he is working on.

Dr. Laura Erbe, DVM — Veterinarian

Dr. Laura Erbe is glad to be fulfilling her childhood dream of working with animals. She is from Altoona, Kansas, and joined the team after graduating from Kansas State University in 2019. Dr. Erbe is happy to be living back in her native area, along with her leopard gecko and a three-toed box turtle.

She enjoys crocheting and participating in living history from the trapper/fur trader era in her spare time. Dr. Erbe is particularly interested in small animal preventative medicine and all aspects of exotic pet medicine.

Paula Tow — Practice Manager

Paula Tow is our practice manager, and she has been with Barta Animal Hospital since 1984. She has always loved animals and enjoys seeing the bonds that they form with their owners. Throughout her hospital journey, Paula has definitely seen the ins and outs of veterinary medicine, and she strives to help make patients and their owners feel better.

When Paula is not working, she spends her free time with her husband, Dan, and a German shepherd named Riggs.

Molly Lead Veterinary Technician

Molly is from Conway Springs, Kansas growing up with three siblings. She joined Barta Animal Hospital in May of 2017 after graduating from the veterinary technician program here in Independence.

Molly is our lead veterinary assistant and enjoys working with mixed animals. She maintains great composure in every obstacle and challenge that she faces each day. Molly is everyone’s ray of sunshine!

She is an assistant cheer coach at our community college. When she is not working at the hospital, she enjoys outdoor activities with her dog (Rosie), spending time with her family, and reading murder mystery books.

Haley — Veterinary Assistant

Haley was born and raised on a small market farm with her family in a small town in Central Oregon’s mountains. She has always spent her life around animals. Haley joined Barta Animal Hospital in December 2019 as a veterinary assistant.

When she is not working, you can find Haley enjoying the outdoors. From hunting and fishing to riding horses, dirt bikes, and hiking, Haley does it all. When she is not here at the clinic, she is probably at the lake with her husband, two daughters, and dogs enjoying Kansas’s outdoors and summer heat.

Adyson— Veterinary Assistant

Adyson recently joined Barta animal hospital as a vet assistant. She is currently in school at Cowley Community College to receive her associate’s degree in farm and ranch management in the fall. She will then advance on to the Penn Foster program and Vet Tech program at Independence Community College. She has always loved animals and being able to work with them and help them in any way that she can. Adyson has 3 fur babies, a blue heeler named Sadie Mae, one border collie named Millie and the other one is a border collie\hanging tree mix named Liz. Outside of work, she likes to spend time with family, riding her horse and working cattle with her fiancé, and while doing all of this she is planning for her wedding on Sep 24, 2022!

Chris — Client Services Representative

Chris came to Barta Animal Hospital in 2015, bringing over 34 years of experience working for an orthopedic surgeon here in Independence. She specializes in communication with our clients after visits and procedures are done in the clinic.

She is most often found behind the scenes ensuring things are running as smoothly as possible. Chris has enjoyed the transition from orthopedic medicine to veterinary medicine. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband (John), three granddaughters, and her beloved 15-year-old dachshund, Abby.