By Bill Walker
On February 3, Bond County Humane Society received good news as it was informed it would be the recipient of a $60,000 grant from the Petco Foundation, an amount which will go a long way toward the construction of a new cat shelter and office building on South Elm Street, but it's not enough to complete the entire project.
BCHS has set a capital campaign goal of $110,000 and is in dire need for the group's effort that resulted in the rescuing of 162 dogs and cats in 2015. At any given time, BCHS's cramped space at its cat shelter on Fourth Street is overwhelmed. A new shelter, which would be combined with the current location of the dog shelter, would eliminate that problem.
Despite not reaching the total needed for the cost of the building, the humane society is going ahead with the project iin a need to use the money it received through the grant.
On June 22, Bond County Humane Society will break ground on the cat shelter on land near its dog shelter located near Route 40.
"We're in kind of a crunch situation to do this project," said the humane society's director, Rachel Hundsdorfer.
According to Hundsdorfer, the project will begin soon after the groundbreaking as the foundation and the exterior will be constructed to use the funds provided by the Petco Foundation.
That portion of the project is tentatively expected to be completed by September of this year.
The rest of the project's completion will await funding.
"It looks like we'll have to piece it together," Hundsdorfer said.
The group's goal with the completion of the first phase of the project would be to get enough of the inside of the building finished to allow the humane society to move its office and cat shelter space into the building.
"If we could do that," Hundsdorfer said, "we'd be thrilled to death."
Currently, BCHS operates two separate shelters, requiring the staffing of two groups of volunteers, a task that is overwhelming for a group that relies heavily on them for its work.
The completion of the cat shelter would allow for much more convenience.
Funding for the project, however, has been hard to come by which makes the Petco Foundation grant a welcome gift for BCHS.
In July of 2015, the humane society learned a grant it had been awarded by the State of Illinois to be used toward the construction of a new shelter, totaling $75,000, was suspended. In the midst of the budget impasse, the state originally suspended the money, but has since released $18,000 of the total.
In addition, the group has received a grant from Nestle Purina totaling $10,000 and another $5,000 in donations for the project.
All told, including the Petco Foundation grant, BCHS states it is still in need of nearly $50,000 to complete the project. In addition to rescuing 162 dogs and cats last year, BCHS spayed or neutered 441 animals, 232 of which were part of the Trap, Neuter and Release Program that catches feral/free-roaming cats.
Donate to the Capital Campaign online today at YouCaring.com/BCHScatshelter
The Greenville Advocate June 14, 2016 page 1, continued on page 5