MACOMB — Members of the McDonough County Board's planning committee discussed Thursday a potential site for a new animal shelter. Committee member Alice Henry suggested a two-acre county-owned lot at the south end of Collins Avenue.
"Can we reserve this for possible use so it isn't assigned for something else?" she asked. Henry suggested a fundraising campaign could take as long as five years to complete.
Bonnie Skripps, president of the Humane Society of McDonough County, said she has sent a letter to society members asking their opinions on the possibility of a campaign to raise funds to build a new animal shelter. Together, the county and the society have nearly $100,000 in memorial funds as seed money toward a new building.
"Expansion at the present (Tower Road) site is not a realistic option," said committee chairman George Dixon. "The county can make its memorial money available to the campaign but we won't contribute any tax money."
County Board Chairman Scott Schwerer said any action regarding designation of a site for a new animal shelter would need to be taken by the full county board.
In other business, the committee was told that 37 dogs remained in the shelter at the end of April after 14 were adopted, 10 were reclaimed, and one vicious dog was euthanized. Animal Control Officer Kelsey Havens reported that 17 puppies are available for adoption.
Havens also reported that 41 cats remained in the shelter last month after 7 were adopted, one feral cat was euthanized, and one cat died of natural causes.
Skripps said that 38 dogs were washed at a May 5 pet wash at Woodrum's Automotive. She said a group of Western Illinois University students handled the washing and grooming.
The humane society president said her group's major fundraiser, "Wine, Whiskers, and Whimsy," would be held Saturday, June 9 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Macomb American Legion. Skripps said it is the sixth year for the fundraiser and tickets are $25 apiece.

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