MACOMB — McDonough County Board Chairman Scott Schwerer asked members of the board's human resources and planning committee to consider a partnership between the county and the Humane Society of McDonough County to build a new animal shelter. Both groups recently received a bequest of $69,489 to be divided between the two of them from the Richard Yeast estate and Schwerer said another $20,000 is anticipated.
A memo from committee chairman George Dixon suggested the possibility of a humane society fundraising campaign for additional dollars to go toward construction of a new animal shelter. Schwerer said a memo of understanding would be drawn up between the county and the humane society for use of funds. He said that he has talked with Mayor Mike Inman and that Macomb would continue to contribute operational funds for the animal shelter.
Bonnie Skripps, humane society president, said the fundraising campaign would be separate from current annual fundraisers conducted by the society. "A building campaign is a long process," she told the committee. The present animal shelter on Tower Road was built in 1981.
Skripps added that the society will bring back its pet wash on May 5 with Western Illinois University students assisting. She said there would be a $10 fee for washing and combing of pets.
The humane society president said that negotiations are underway for a new location for the June 9 "Wine, Whiskers, and Wimsey" fundraiser. Skripps said the event has outgrown its past home at The Wine Sellers and Taylor's Hall downtown.
Animal Control Officer Kelsey Havens reported that 29 puppies were born at the animal shelter in March. She said 11 dogs were reclaimed, seven were adopted, and three were euthanized, leaving 49 dogs in the shelter at the end of the month. Havens said four adult dogs and their puppies from a recent court case are available for adoption.
Havens also reported that one cat was reclaimed in March, six were adopted, and three were euthanized, leaving 40 cats in the shelter at the end of the month. The committee voted to recommend continuing the current discount on cat adoptions through the end of June. Skripps said that June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month.
Havens said the animal shelter building is currently without hot water due to the need for a replacement part for the water tank to prevent a condensation buildup.
In other business, committee members were told that the GIS Center at WIU will obtain Google mapping software for county use.
Committee member Alice Henry said another "Groundwater Guardian" award has been received due to the efforts of the county's groundwater protection education committee. The committee has received the award annually since 1996.
Henry said bottles for collecting well water for analysis are available from the McDonough County Health Department and will be available at Walmart early next month.

Reach Patrick Stout by email at pstout@mcdonoughvoice.com.