By Kristen Miller
DASSEL, MN With approval from the Dassel City Council, a Dassel businessman is moving forward with plans to build a small animal crematory with hopes to have it in operation by the end of the year.
Randy Wischmann, co-owner of Firelake Manufacturing, became familiar with the cremation industry as the company began making the equipment in 2002. The company also makes incinerators and waste oil furnaces.
Pet cremation is also an industry that’s in demand, Wischmann noted.
Pawsitively Remembered will be the name of Wischmann’s new business, a venture he wanted to take on during his upcoming retirement.
The pet crematory will be located on a 24-foot-by-15-foot lot off Highway 15, just north of Highway 12, near the city’s wastewater treatment ponds. The property is owned by Sharel Lee of Dassel.
Within the next two weeks, Wischmann’s plans are to have the cement slab poured that will support two cremators, and build an 8-foot high privacy fence surrounding them. This will ensure that the process won’t be viewed from those passing by on the highway, he noted.
Since there won’t neccessarily be a building, Wischmann will operate the business from his truck and home office, he noted.
To control the exhaust and eliminate any odor, ash, or smoke, Wischmann will use a double-burner system, he explained.
“You normally won’t even be able to tell it’s burning,” Wischmann assured.
His goal is to have the business running by the end of the year, as demand for pet cremation increases during the winter months when the ground is frozen and burials aren’t an option, he explained.
One of the keys to making this new business venture a success was getting local veterinarians on board, as well, which will utilize the service.
Wischmann guarantees a three-day turnaround, including pick-up and delivery. He will also take time to sit down with the pet owners to discuss products offered, such as personalized urns. Wischmann said he understands how sensitive of a time its is since losing a pet is often like losing a family member.