Blogs > All About Milford and Orange

If you live, work, or simply just care about Milford and Orange, this is the site for you. We'll provide you with interesting news about these communities. Most importantly we want to hear from you. Feel free to contact City Editor Helen Bennett Harvey, at or Brian McCready, Milford Bureau Chief, at

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Officials decry pet crematory proposal

By Brian McCready
Milford Bureau Chief
— When it comes to a proposed pet crematory, you don’t have to ask City Planner David Sulkis twice for his opinion.
At the Planning and Zoning Board’s public hearing Tuesday, Sulkis repeatedly criticized a proposal by Robert Mickolyzck, owner of Snowflake Pet Center, to construct a pet crematory to accommodate the cremation of pets up to 200 pounds in size.
The PZB did not vote on the application, but will likely vote at a May meeting.
“I believe this is a very bad idea. Crematories are a prohibited use throughout the city,” Sulkisa said. “It’s a very noxious use.”
In March, Mickolyzck submitted an application for a special exemption to build and operate a pet crematory at the center.
Sulkis noted that the site of the proposed crematory, 1 Rowe Ave., is a buffer to a residential neighborhood.
Mickolyzck argued that the pet center has operated as a kennel for the past 40 years, a veterinary hospital the past 10 years, and the addition would provide a needed service.
“A crematory will help take care of pets when their time ends,” Mickolyzck said.
He said that when an animal dies he has to store it in a freezer, then ship out the remains to Stamford, Manchester, or Westbrook. There are no pet crematories in this area.
PZB member Janet Golden, D-2, raised concerns about the noise and the affect the crematory would have on the environment.
Mickolyzck responded that there would be “minimal” noise, and there would be no odor because the animals are confined to what he called “dual chambers.”
Not everyone agreed.
“The smell of burning flesh is unmistakable,” said PZB member Kevin Liddy. “How will you control the odor?”
Mickolyzck reiterated that the smell would not be an issue.
“The smell coming from the Burger King on the Post Road is more than us,” Mickolyzck said.
Zoning members also raised concerns over the possibility that Mickolyzck will turn the proposed crematory into a regional facility, and questioned the need for the facility to accommodate some animals that are larger than some humans.
“You’re asking to cremate animals up to 200 pounds. What’s the difference between a large dog and a human?” asked PZB member Frank Goodrich, R-3.
Sulkis provided data from the National Center for Health Statistics, which lists the average American male’s weight at 190 pounds and the average female weight at 163 pounds.
Mickolyzck said there are more restrictions on human cremations in light of some high profile cases in which human remains were never burned. He said if the project were approved, he would keep a log of all animals cremated. He said if the pet owner did not want the ashes, he would put them in the garbage.
The state requires a 20-acre parcel for a human crematory. The state has no requirements for a pet crematory.
PZB member Gregory N. Vetter, R-1, asked whether Mickolyzck planned to turn the crematory into a regional facility, and Mickolyzck responded that he might eventually provide the service for other vets in Milford and possibly Stratford.
Mickolyzck said he would likely cremate about 10 dogs and cats a week. Sulkis said if the PZB approved the pet crematory, it would be “hard pressed to stop additional crematories” from sprouting up in Milford.
The South Central Council of Governments did not approve the application, saying it would have a negative impact on the municipality, Sulkis added.
“I cannot be supportive of this and I did tell Mickolyzck,” Sulkis said. “It’s prohibited all over the city and for good reason.”


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home