Cremator cited for attracting bears with dead pets

Juneau police and animal control responded to an incident early Tuesday at the home of a pet cremator on Cohen Drive.

A neighbor reported a bear at the home of Mike Dziuba, owner of the pet cremation business Bridge Pet Services, according to Juneau Police Lt. Krag Campbell.

“Specifically it’s because there were carcasses of deceased animals wrapped in a tarp that was attracting bears,” Campbell said.

Campbell said police issued Dzuiba a citation for a bear attraction nuisance.

Reached by phone, Dzuiba said the deceased animals were in a shelter at his home where he temporarily kept them before moving them to his shop for cremation.

“If I had multiple pets to pick up in the same day, I’d store them there until I got back to the shop,” he said.

Dzuiba said the shelter was not damaged but wouldn’t say whether a bear had gotten to the bodies, nor would he confirm how many bodies were stored there. He said the bodies were meant to be cremated together and their owners had elected not to receive their ashes.

He confirmed that he has removed the bodies from the shelter.

In March, Dzuiba apologized to several customers for keeping their pets’ bodies in the back of his car. He claimed to have gotten backlogged on cremation orders.

Dzuiba said he’ll stop taking pets for cremation for now and he offered his apologies to his neighbors and customers.

Correction: An earlier version of this story said Juneau police and animal control arrived late Tuesday night. The authorities arrived at 10 a.m. Tuesday. The story has been updated.

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