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About Us

Our Story

Nickerson Animal Health Center has been a continuouslyoperating veterinary practice since 1878. Dr. J.C. Cole opened his doors on ElmStreet (currently known as State Street) in Benton Harbor. At that time, thehorse was king and many of his patients were of the larger type. Next in linewas Dr. Bert Johnson who assumed the practice and eventually re-located it toGreen Avenue in Benton Harbor.

In 1901, Dr. Eugene Krieger purchased the business and developedthe first local pet hospital in 1929 and eventually moved it to 1298 ColfaxAvenue in Benton Harbor. The city directory described Dr. Krieger as a personhaving "years of successful experience in relieving the aches and pains ofour dumb animals, and is a safe man to call in time of need".

1945 saw a new owner, Dr. George Freier, take over the reins andshortly afterwards in 1952 he built a new facility on Colfax. Dr. John Sharonjoined the practice in 1968 and worked with Dr. Freier until the latter'sretirement in 1983.

Dr. Patrick Almus joined the staff in 1983 and with Dr. Sharonthey built the current health center in 1992 on the corner of M-139 andNickerson Avenue. In 2000, Dr. Almus purchased the practice and was joined byDr. Keith Merle that year.

Our Goal


At Nickerson Animal Health Center we understand how vitally important theseare to you and your pet. We measure our success according to your pet'shappiness and good health. To ensure the best diagnosis and treatment for youranimal, we take the time for a thorough consultation and careful examination.

Exceptional care and quality service are important aspects toconsider when evaluating a veterinary clinic to entrust with the care of yourpet. This is why we focus on providing the exceptional service of at anaffordable cost each and every visit.