By ADAM SWIFT
PEABODY — Stray cats will now have a fighting chance to make it through the winter.
Thursday night, the Peabody City Council approved a special permit for a no-kill, cat-only adoption center on Main Street operated by Animal Umbrella Inc., a volunteer nonprofit.
“I think this will be a great asset to the city,” said Councilor-at-Large Anne Manning-Martin. “It is certainly needed to help these stray animals and take them off the streets for the winter. I commend these volunteers.”
Animal Umbrella has been running a shelter in Revere, but Charles Martins, the attorney representing the charity, said the organization has been forced out as the Revere landlord is demolishing the building to use it for other purposes.
The new shelter will be at 150R Main St., the former home of the Northeast Animal Hospital.
“It is approximately 2,300 square feet and already conducive to use for animals,” said Martins.
The maximum number of felines that will be housed at the shelter is 60, with an average of about 40 to 50 at most times. The cats at the shelter will be spayed or neutered.
“I’ve supported the organization for over 20 years,” said Peabody resident Robert Marcotte. “They are my charity of choice. They are doing God’s work, rescuing animals that do not have a chance in the world.”
Marcotte added that the volunteers who staff the shelter keep it fastidiously clean.
Ward 2 Councilor Peter McGinn said he spoke with the volunteers from the shelter, as well as the city’s health department for guidance on any special conditions for the location.
“I am comfortable that they are committed to running a clean and well-run location,” he said.
The cats at the shelter will be available for adoption by the public during business hours.
“As a cat lover, I am very happy to see them move to Peabody,” said City Council President Joel Saslaw.
Animal Umbrella was founded in 1984, with its original shelter in Lynn before it moved to Revere.