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Rick George Has Many Animal Stories To Tell

Stories about the wayward bull, deadly scorpions, giant pythons and a hawk on the loose.

Rick George could pass for Santa.

"Well, I could," he said, if it weren’t that playing his full-time role as makes it preferable to keep his facial hair trimmed back to a mustache and goatee.

Otherwise, at 6 feet tall and 265 pounds, he easily passes for Old Saint Nick for events such as at the Milford Senior Center’s children’s Christmas party on Dec. 9 and the Animal Shelter’s pet photos with Santa fundraiser on Dec. 10.

"I have been known to have long beards," George noted. Twenty-five years ago he grew a beard down to his chest.

As animal control officer, Rick George has many stories to tell about animals. ", which is getting a huge amount of attention," he said.

The animal, a Black Angus bull or steer, has been spotted near Gulf Beach, and is believed to be hiding in a patch of woods off Calf Pen Meadow Road where Milford residents hid their cattle during the Revolutionary War.

He once kept a red tail hawk at his house while its broken wing mended. One day it got loose and chased his cat down the hall.

And once he was called to a residence to retrieve a number of exotic animals, including a 13-foot-long Burmese python and several deadly Egyptian death stalker scorpions.

George said one of the best parts of his job is when he gets to introduce school children to live animals they seldom get to see.

"I think it’s important for children to be exposed to things you don’t see every day," he explained.

George is a lifelong area resident. He grew up on the Fin and Wing Farm, located in the 1950s where Platt Tech is now in Milford.

In the 1970s, he worked as an apprentice mechanic, then as a Milford police officer for three years, then as a marine mechanic at a boatyard, and finally as a self-employed home remodeler. One of his remodeling customers was Milford Animal Control Officer Patricia Liptak, who asked him to fill in for her while she took some time off from work.

He did, which led to his job as the assistant animal control officer, and he succeeded Liptak two years ago when she retired.

Orange ended its association with Bethany/Woodbridge Animal Control and joined Milford earlier this year.

George also has an affinity for trains and trolleys. One of his community activities was to learn to be a volunteer trolley operator for the Shoreline Trolley Museum in East Haven and Branford.

His love for tinkering extends to the model railroad group he helped to start at the Milford Senior Center. They are building an ambitious, HO gauge model train layout in the center’s basement, replicating what Milford Center looked like a century ago.

"We’re not throwing a few plastic buildings together. We’re actually recreating what was there," George said. "We’ve laid over 400 feet of tracks so far. It’s not like your little Lionels that go around your Christmas tree. It’s actually very sophisticated."

Tim Chaucer December 13, 2011 at 05:01 PM
Great guy; great story. never heard of the fin and wing farm. Tell us more about the farm you grew up on, Rick. Tim C
RIck George December 13, 2011 at 05:53 PM
Tim, The Farm was a chicken farm and egg farm from the Platt tech property through 3 or 4 of those big houses there now. They also grew flowers. The farm was owned by Mr. And Mrs Hindle many fond memories from that period of my life not the least of which was sitting and holding the baby chicks when they hatched around Easter time....and my "pet" ground hog and salamander but thats a story for another day.
RIck George December 13, 2011 at 05:54 PM
As always Dee, thank you for your kind words and help through the years. Rick
bob mickolyzck December 13, 2011 at 11:09 PM
he's an asset to the town for all his services, knowledge and fairness.. i'm happy to know him, but 265 rick!
bob wilson February 22, 2012 at 12:23 PM
I'm glad to see that Rick is finally getting the positive comments that he so deserves. He is also very good at hanging ceiling lights. LOL....

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