By Rachel Holt

SALEM (CBS) – Seven-year-old Kaya Burns has been waiting patiently for this moment. “Like a whole year,” she said.

On Thursday, along with her mom and grandmother, she’s taking home a new pet.

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“I’m so excited. I just can’t wait,” said Burns.

Their newest family member is one of 100 cats relocated to Massachusetts last week from Kentucky animal shelters following devastating tornadoes in the state.

“The cats were dispersed throughout all of the MSPCA adoption centers as well as ours. Most of them have been adopted but there are a few left,” said Northeast Animal Shelter Community Relations Manager Jamie Garabedian.

“We were going to go to the shelter anyways but then when we heard about this, we jumped on it immediately,” said Michelle Burns of Swampscott.

“We’ve been overwhelmed with how many inquiries we’ve gotten which is great. Our community is really excited to help,” said Garabedian.

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And that need for help continues, with 17 dogs from Kentucky shelters arriving at Northeast Animal Shelter Wednesday night.

“They range. We’ve got young dogs. We’ve got older dogs, every kind of breed so there’s really something for everybody so we’re really excited and we encourage adopters to come meet them,” said Garabedian.

The dogs are currently in a mandatory two-day quarantine inside the shelter. After that’s complete, they’ll be up for adoption early next week, with the hope they’ll find new homes before the end of the year.

“You do have to go on and make an appointment and then you’ll come in and talk to a counselor and we’ll try to make a good match for you,” said Garabedian.

“She wants to name them Sunshine, and we think that’s perfect because they’ve been through a storm and now it’s going to be sunny days from here on out,” said Christine Burns.

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For more information visit the Northeast Animal Shelter website www.northeastanimalshelter.org.

Rachel Holt