NEW YORK (AP/CBSNewYork) — Animal rescue volunteers have found 38 starving cats living amid filth and excrement in a house in the Great Kills section of Staten Island.

Michelle Christofilakes of Staten Island Hope Animal Rescue says the cats were very skinny and looked traumatized when they were found last week at 115 Armstrong Ave.

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Until last month, the house was occupied by a 70-year-old tenant.

Landlord Eleftherios Theodorakis told the Staten Island Advance that the man moved out around Oct. 15 and abandoned the cats.

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He said he was now tearing out floorboards and wall panels in an attempt to get rid of the stench.

The animal rescue group is trying to find homes for the cats.

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