Meet the team at Spears Animal Hospital


Your pet will receive top-quality care in the hands of our highly skilled doctor and veterinary technicians. Dr. Tichacek is a seasoned veterinarian with a special interest in diagnostics, and our entire team is trained to practice the same high caliber of veterinary medicine.

At Spears Animal Hospital, your pet will receive care that is personalized to their needs. We believe in the welfare of each and every pet that comes into our practice.

Our Staff

Dr. Mark Tichacek


Dr. Tichacek is a beloved veterinarian that has been serving Carbondale and the surrounding Southern Illinois area for more than two decades. A graduate of the nationally renowned University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. T provides quality medical and surgical care for dogs and cats.

Before moving to Carbondale in 1996 to become the owner of Spears Animal Hospital, Dr. T worked as a veterinarian at animal hospitals including Oakland Animal Hospital in New Jersey; Care Animal Hospital in Arlington Heights, IL; and All Creatures Animal Hospital in Lake Zurich, IL.

When he’s not taking care of the community’s adorable pets, Dr. T and his wife love to get outside and enjoy the scenic beauty of Southern Illinois and its kind-hearted people. An avid sports fan, you’ll also find him cheering on his favorite teams with his two cats snuggled up at his side, tinkering around the garage with his dog in tow, fishing at Little Grassy Lake, or pretending he’s still a teenager and tubing at Crab Orchard with his two grown children.

Dr. Sarah Placek

Dr. Placek is an associate veterinarian and our newest addition to the Spears Animal Hospital family. She was born and raised here in Southern Illinois and has been serving as a veterinarian for the last two years. She is a 2019 graduate from the University of Missouri-Columbia, School of Veterinary Medicine. Her passion for animal health has led her down this career path to provide quality medicine and surgical care to animals.

When Dr. Placek is not at the clinic, she enjoys spending her free time with family, friends, and outdoor activities. An avid hiker, kayaker, and gardener, she enjoys spending time outside when the weather is nice.


Hello! My name is Sydney and I’m a student at SIU working part-time as a receptionist at Spears. I’ve always loved animals, and before I started working reception, I was a kennel caregiver here, so even if you might not know me, if you boarded with us while out boarding facility was still open, there’s a chance your pet might! I’m currently a senior at SIU majoring in English Creative Writing and minoring in Spanish and Japanese. I have a biliteracy certification in Spanish, and I’m working on becoming fluent in Japanese! I grew up in Carbondale in a family with many animals, but ever since I’ve moved out of my parents’ home, my only pet has been my little cat, Dolly. She is the light of my life, and for that reason, is quite spoiled. I have a soft spot for cats, but I grew up with dogs and love them too. Come say hi at the reception counter while you’re at Spears, and I’ll be happy to help you with whatever you need for your furry friend!

Hannah M.

Growing up most of my life on a small farm in southern Illinois, I really valued animal care. I spent endless hours in our barn with our kittens or sitting out in the pasture with our guard dog, sheep, and goats. I just loved spending any chance I got with our farm animals! I was very fortunate to then get to attend a local veterinarian technician school. After college, I volunteered at an animal shelter as a surgical tech and my passion really grew. When I am not working at Spears, I enjoy playing piano, singing, cooking, baking, and hiking the many trails of southern Illinois