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North Shore Animal Hospital one of the originals

May 31, 2017
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

Things have changed in North Fort Myers over the years, and that especially goes for North Shore Animal Hospital at 14487 N. Cleveland Ave., which has seen much in its 54 years in business.

What hasn't changed is the way the facility and staff care for your pet, which is often considered a member of the family.

Vicki Scott, one of the vets at the hospital, said they are a full-service animal hospital that provides healthcare services for cats and dogs, as well as hamsters, gerbils, ferrets, guinea pigs and rabbits.

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The staff at North Shore Animal Hospital at 14487 N. Cleveland Ave.

"We offer anything other veterinarians have such as exams, vaccines, grooming bathing, boarding and surgery, as well as dentistry and laser therapy for those with arthritis," Scott said.

North Shore employs eight people, including two full-time vets. When it opened in 1963, there were only two other veterinarians in the area, one by the Edison Mall and the other to the east.

Vercil Senseman, who had lived in Fort Myers since 1940, went to Auburn University to become a vet. Upon graduation, and after a tour of duty in Korea with the Marines, he and his wife, Lois, opened North Shore. He started treating large animals such as cattle and horses, usually going out to the customers and not the other way around as is the case today.

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"There was nothing in Bonita or Naples, you had to come down here. He started doing large animals at first and went to smaller ones once he got established," Lois Senseman said, who is 85 and still working every day in the office. "It's been our life all these years."

As time went on and the practice grew, those calls became less frequent and they became a "small practice" that worked with small animals like dogs and cats.

Vercil retired in 1993 and passed away in 2006. His wife, Lois Senseman and daughter, Teresa Kincade, took over and moved to the current location in 2004 following Hurricane Charley though they were going to move to even before the storm.

"We had two buildings and, when the hurricane hit, we put the animals in the vault so they would be safe," Lois said.

The current location used to be a bank that was remodeled. Either one or both are on site at all times.

Scott said vets, like "people" doctors have become more specialized, meaning if they can't fix the problem, they will send your pet somewhere to get the care it needs.

North Shore Animal Hospital is open Monday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon.

For more information, call 995-2883 or go to



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