Longtime Missouri Clinic Keeps Up With Times

The makeover of 68-year-old Eagle Animal Hospital includes 100 solar panels and luxury boarding rooms.

Eagle Animal Hospital in Riverside, Mo., got its start in a dairy barn (inset).

Eagle Animal Hospital has come a long way in 68 years, transitioning from a dairy barn to a more modern building to a newly renovated clinic featuring solar panels and luxury boarding rooms.

The small animal hospital, established by Dr. Tom Eagle in 1947 in the Kansas City, Mo., suburb of Riverside, today employs five veterinarians, a practice manager, a kennel manager and a team of veterinary technicians, assistants and customer service personnel.

Current owner Jim Sparks, DVM, goes way back. He started as a 15-year-old kennel attendant in 1979 under Dr. Tom Noyes and moved on to college and a veterinary degree from the University of Missouri.

Dr. Sparks returned to Eagle Animal Hospital after graduation, and when the opportunity arose to buy the practice, he did so in 1996. The renovated clinic, which will officially be unveiled during a public open house Aug. 30, is “the culmination of my whole life’s work,” he said.

“We have such a special workplace here at Eagle, with staff made up of family and friends that truly care about our patients and work hard to make all everyone feel at home,” Sparks said. “We wanted the building and services to reflect the environment that our staff embodies.”

The larger 10,000-square-foot hospital will save on energy costs through LED lighting and 100 solar panels that will satisfy up to 40 percent of the clinic’s power needs.

Canine visitors and their owners will see an upgraded day care area and fancy boarding rooms.

Overnight pets will get the royal treatment—literally. Sports-themed rooms will pay tribute to teams such as the baseball Kansas City Royals and football Kansas City Chiefs. A princess theme will be available, too.

Boarders will have a cot and a blanket to lounge on and a television tuned to the Animal Planet network.

The $2.1 million redesign also aimed to make Eagle Animal Hospital more visible to passers-by.

“We’ve been here for years, but if you weren’t a client or didn’t know our location, it would’ve been hard to know exactly where the hospital was,” said Sparks’ business partner, Matthew Silvius, DVM. “Now, with a taller building and new signage, there’s no way you can miss it.”

Also on staff are three fellow University of Missouri Tigers: Margaret Silvius, DVM; Scott Read, DVM; and Stacey Nickell, DVM.

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