The Nickerson Animal Health Center Story
Nickerson Animal Health Center has been a continuously operating veterinary practice since 1878. Dr. J.C. Cole opened his doors on Elm Street (currently known as State Street) in Benton Harbor. At that time, the horse was king and many of his patients were of the larger type. Next in line was Dr. Bert Johnson who assumed the practice and eventually re-located it to Green Avenue in Benton Harbor.
In 1901, Dr. Eugene Krieger purchased the business and developed the first local pet hospital in 1929 and eventually moved it to 1298 Colfax Avenue in Benton Harbor. The city directory described Dr. Krieger as a person having "years of successful experience in relieving the aches and pains of our 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 and shortly afterwards in 1952 he built a new facility on Colfax. Dr. John Sharon joined the practice in 1968 and worked with Dr. Freier until the latter's retirement in 1983.
Dr. Patrick Almus joined the staff in 1983 and with Dr. Sharon they built the current health center in 1992 on the corner of M-139 and Nickerson Avenue. In 2000, Dr. Almus purchased the practice and was joined by Dr. Keith Merle that year.
The practice has been a member of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) since 1954. Every three years our facilities and records are thoroughly evaluated and inspected to be sure that we meet their exacting and high standards for the delivery of veterinary healthcare.