James T. Sparks, D.V.M. & Owner
Dr. Jim Sparks was born an animal lover. Dr. Sparks remembers as a young child informing the former owner of Eagle Animal Hospital he was going to be a veterinarian and buy the practice from him. That is exactly what he did. At the age of 15, Dr. Noyes gave him his first job as a kennel attendant. “I was hooked on the profession from day one”, he said.
Since 1980, he has been a valued member of the hospital’s support staff, working as a receptionist and doing the work of a veterinary technician throughout high school and during the summer while an undergraduate. Dr. Sparks graduated from the University of Missouri in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science. He earned his doctorate of veterinary medicine from the same school in 1990. Before graduating, he completed an externship with the chief veterinarian of the Iditarod sled dog race in Alaska.
Dr. Sparks has practiced at Eagle Animal Hospital ever since and enjoys his role as principal owner. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association, and the Kansas City Veterinary Medical Association. His professional interest is focused on companion animal internal medicine. “I love veterinary medicine and surgery because the learning process is never done,” he says. “Every day offers new challenges and opportunities to learn and grow as a veterinarian, parent, husband – strengthening the human animal bond and becoming a better person one day at a time.”
At home, Dr. Sparks boasts a “true Brady Bunch” with three children of his own and three stepchildren with his wife Piper. He is an active member of the St. Therese church, is involved with many civic charities, and is a big supporter of youth athletics. He enjoys being outdoors, playing golf, fishing, and watching his children play sports. The family’s pets include a German Shepherd named Dutchess, a Shepherd mix named Jesse, a King Charles Caviler Spaniel named Lacey, a rescued English Bulldog named Diva, and two guinea pigs.
Matthew Silvius, D.V.M. & Co-owner
Hard work and interaction with farm animals from a young age inspired Dr. Matthew Silvius to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. Raised on a farm in Lathrop, his first paying job was as a kennel assistant at Eagle Animal Hospital.
“The established culture that was here drove me to want to return as a vet,” he says. “Through the support of many family members, I was able to make it happen.” Dr. Silvius attended Missouri Western State University for his undergraduate studies in Biology. After graduating on the Dean’s list, he enrolled at the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine. He graduated magna cum laude as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2007 and was presented with an award for Excellence in Dermatology.
Dr. Silvius’ professional interests include dermatology, as well as feline medicine, dentistry, and wound management. He is a board member of the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association and the Kansas City Veterinary Medical Association, and a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association. He joined our team in 2001. Dr. Silvius is most satisfied as a veterinarian when he can find creative ways to help and serve clients and their pets. “There is no better feeling than being able to return a sick pet back home to their family,” he says.
He and his wife Dr. Margaret Silvius have two pets, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Archie and a kitty named Sunny. He spends his free time working outside at home, watching state and local sports, and spending time with his family.
Scott C. Read, D.V.M. Chief of Surgery
Dr. Scott Read was inspired to become a veterinarian at a young age while on a Boy Scout’s outing. Once the boys had packed into one of the hospital’s exam rooms, the veterinarian instructed several of the children to stand at different doors and then had them open or close the doors at certain times. “This was his way of showing us how the heart worked,” he recalls. “I knew at that moment I wanted to become a veterinarian.”
Dr. Read began volunteering at a clinic cleaning kennels and walking dogs while he was still in high school in Savannah, MO. While enrolled at Missouri Western State University, he worked his way up to becoming a veterinary assistant. In 1997, he completed his undergraduate studies in biology and chemistry. He then enrolled at the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine, earning his doctorate of veterinary medicine in 2001.
After graduating, Dr. Read returned to practice at a clinic in St. Joseph for five years before joining the team at Eagle Animal Hospital & Pet Resort in August of 2006. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association, and the Kansas City Veterinary Medical Association. His professional interests include dentistry and surgery.
“The bond formed with a pet after caring for them while being sick or injured is one of the most satisfying parts of my job,” he says. “Just seeing them respond to treatment, being up walking around, perky and eating again is a reward. Not only does this strengthen the bond between the owner and pet, but with me as well.”
Dr. Read has two sons and a daughter. He also has two dogs, Sully the Cavalier mix and Ramona a Cairn Terrier mix. Dr. Read spends his free time attending sporting events, watching his children play sports, and going to the movies or working on new recipes.
Stacey Nickell, D.V.M.
As a young child drawn to both science and animals, Dr. Stacey Nickell knew she wanted to become a veterinarian. At 15, she began volunteering at a local veterinary hospital and was on staff by the following year. The veterinarian there became her mentor and encouraged her to pursue her dream.
Dr. Nickell completed her undergraduate studies in Biology at Bradley University in 1999. She pursued her graduate studies at the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine graduating magna cum laude in 2003.
The first hospital she worked at as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine was the same where she got her start as a teenager.
“I was happy to find a career that integrated science with my love for animals,” she says.
Dr. Nickell joined our team in May of 2004. She is a member of the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association. She is also a member and treasurer of the Kansas City Veterinary Medical Association. Her professional interests include ophthalmology, internal medicine, dentistry and dermatology.
Dr. Nickell is Fear Free Certified©. She says, “I am excited to implement new strategies to ensure your pets have the best experience possible during their visit.” If you have concerns about an upcoming visit please call to discuss this before the scheduled visit.
Dr. Nickell enjoys being a veterinarian for many reasons. “I enjoy forming relationships with clients and helping them to make the best decisions for their pets,” she says. The challenge of diagnosing a patient and the diversity of cases she sees in a day also keep her passionate about her career choice.
At home, Dr. Nickell has a Boxer named Jasmine. She enjoys running, yoga, reading, traveling, and spending time with her husband Jason (also a veterinarian) and their three young children – Brooke, Will and Paige.
Clint Seitz, D.V.M.
Associate Veterinarian Clint Seitz joined Eagle Animal Hospital in March of 2016. A Kansas native, Dr. Seitz attended Kansas State University, earning a Bachelor’s in Animal Science in 2003 and a Master’s of Business Administration in 2005. He earned his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2010.
Dr. Seitz is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Kansas Veterinary Medical Association and the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association. His professional interests include internal medicine and general medicine.
Regarding his decision to become a veterinarian, Dr. Seitz says, “I pursued veterinary medicine because of my appreciation for the human-animal bond and the amazing relationships that can develop between a pet and their owner. Growing up with pets helped me see that those bonds were particularly strong for me.”
“Providing reassurance to people that are worried about their pet’s health and developing customized treatment plans to provide the patient with the best possible outcome is the most satisfying aspect of being a veterinarian,” says Dr. Seitz.
At home, Dr. Seitz has a Boxer named Deuce. He enjoys rooting for the Kansas State Wildcats and the Chicago Cubs, grilling and smoking meat, and spending time with his wife Ruthie and son Gavin.
Mara Reynolds, D.V.M.
Dr. Mara Reynolds attended the University of Missouri for her undergraduate degree in Animal Science as a Pre-Vet scholar. She also attended the University of Missouri earning her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, graduating in 2019. D. Reynolds moved to Overland Park when she was a child and considers it her hometown, but has also lived in California, Arizona, and Missouri. She grew up riding and showing horses in the hunter/jumper ring consistently has been surrounded by animals/pets. Her childhood dog, Jet, was her best friend throughout middle and high school. “Jet was a huge inspiration to me and inspired my desire to help people and their pets.
Before becoming a veterinarian, Dr. Reynolds volunteered during high school at Wayside Waifs and Chain of Hope, both rescues facilities in the Kansas City area. In undergrad, she worked at the Central Missouri Humane Society as well. “I always knew I wanted to combine my passion for science and animals and be a vet.”
Dr. Reynolds is a member of the Kansas City Veterinary Medical Association, the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and is Fear Free Certified. She enjoys internal medicine, dentistry, nutrition, behavior, and routine surgery.
“Forming lasting relationships with clients and their pets to better understand their needs and provide the highest quality medicine/care possible has been my goal as a doctor. Educating owners to be able to make the best decisions for their pets and their families has been the most satisfying part of becoming a veterinarian. ”
When Dr. Reynolds is not working she enjoys hot yoga, hiking, walking with her dog Ivy, spending time with friends, and exploring local breweries and craft beers. Ivy is a three-legged mix breed (mutt) that she adopted after her first year of veterinary school.
Molly Briggs, D.V.M.
Dr. Molly Briggs joined the Eagle team in July 2020. She attended The College of William and Mary for her undergraduate receiving her degree in Biology Magna Cum Laude and the Dean’s List in 2013. She graduated from the school of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri in 2019. Dr. Briggs grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia. When looking back to what sparked her interest in becoming a vet, she remembers looking forward to taking her cat to the cat clinic with her family. “I have wanted to be a vet ever since she can remember. When I was younger, I remember playing “vet” at home by wrapping up my dog in bandages. The motivation to follow through with my dream came from fellow classmates once I entered into vet school. Seeing the love and passion they had for their patients and this field was always inspiring.” Dr. Briggs volunteered at the SPCA while in high school and worked as a veterinary assistant throughout college. She also worked at the Virginia Wildlife Center and received a wide variety of experiences with numerous species including deer, bears, raptors, and small mammals.
Dr. Briggs is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association, and the Kansas City Veterinary Medical Association. After graduation, she completed an internship at Blue Pearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital. Her veterinary interests include cardiology, emergency medicine, nutrition, and internal medicine. She shares with us, “Being able to diagnose diseases/conditions and give people answers and solutions to keep their pets healthy and happy has been the most satisfying part about becoming a veterinarian.”
In Dr. Brigg’s free time she enjoys movie night with friends, paddle boarding, Chief’s football, and exploring KC bars and restaurants. She recently married her husband Kenyon who is a corporate merger and acquisition lawyer. They have a Bernese Mountain Dog named Harper and Waffles, a tabby cat.
Michelle Rhodes D.V.M.
Dr. Michelle Rhodes, a Kansas City native, has been practicing high quality of veterinary medicine for 13 years. She graduated from the University of Missouri, College of Veterinary Medicine in 2007. Started out in private practice, where she practiced small animal veterinary medicine for 9 years at Three Trails Animal Hospital. Dr. Rhodes went on to be the primary surgeon at Union Hill Animal Hospital, taking on tough cases for 3.5 yrs. Then went on to severe the community working as the staff veterinarian and surgeon at The Humane Society of Greater KC.
Dr. Rhodes is an experienced veterinary acupuncturist. She became certified in veterinary acupuncture in 2011 from Curacore Vet through Colorado State. She learned acupuncture from a science-based approach and has been specializing in pain management ever since. She is currently a member of AVMA- American Veterinary Medical Association and MVMA- Missouri Veterinary Medical Association.
Dr. Rhodes and her husband grew up in the KC metropolitan area, where they currently raise their 2 boys. The Rhodes family are active in the KC community and love to spend their time outdoors exploring the forever expanding city.
The Rhodes family includes 5 fur babies: Wilco the cool cat, Vader the skeptical feline, Abby “the best dog in the world” lab mix, Betty Ray the bully of all Pitbulls, and LuLu the challenging small dog Sheba Inu mix. All of who range in different ages teaching Dr. Rhodes personal experience at all life stages.
Dr. Rhodes’s motto is: “Owner knows their pet best and is their pet’s voice. My job is to listen to the owner and develop a plan for their specific pet’s condition to allow for a long healthy life”. To get to know Dr. Rhodes better, schedule an appointment with her at her next convenient available time.
Andrea DeLuke, D.V.M
Dr. DeLuke is available to perform advanced soft tissue and orthopedic surgeries at Eagle Animal Hospital. She specializes in TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy) surgeries, Patellar luxation repair, fracture repair, arthrotomy, among other orthopedic surgeries. She earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Ross University in 2004. She completed her clinical training at the University of Missouri and then pursued a small animal rotating internship at Southern Arizona Veterinary Specialty Center in Tucson, AZ. Dr. DeLuke continued working as an Emergency Doctor in Tucson for several years, and during this time she discovered her passion for surgery. Dr. DeLuke returned to the Midwest and completed a small animal surgery residency at Mission MedVet in Mission, KS.
Prior to the spring of 2019, she performed countless surgeries to save or improve the lives of animals as a staff veterinarian in the surgery department at referral hospitals in St. Louis & Kansas City. Dr. DeLuke is trained in soft tissue, orthopedic & neurologic surgery, with special interests in oncologic surgery and cranial cruciate ligament surgery. In her free time, Dr. DeLuke enjoys traveling with her two children. She has three dogs, two cats and a yard full of chickens.