NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Nearly two dozen cats were rounded up on the Upper West Side Thursday night, and the rescuers were shocked to see so many animals overrunning a single apartment.

As CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported exclusively, 17 cats and six kittens all arrived at once at the Animal General veterinary hospital. They were treated with an assembly line of feeding, vaccinations and care.

READ MORE: Suffolk County Police Officer In Critical Condition After Being Stabbed By Suspect Following Crash

The cats were rescued from a state of squalor in one of the most exclusive ZIP codes in Manhattan. An elderly man was hoarding them in his apartment on West 86th Street less than a block from Central Park.

“I couldn’t believe it was happening right under our eyes, really,” said Karen Heidgerd, practice administrator at Animal General.

Only CBS 2 cameras were there as volunteers went about herding the cats Thursday.

In the apartment, the cat rescuers said they found the animals everywhere — in sofas, under chairs, in bookcases, and even behind a dishwasher.

One terrified tuxedo cat was even found cowering inside a box spring.

“We had to flip the mattress in the bedroom,” said veterinarian Lauren Stein. “She ran out and was, like, ping ponging around the walls.”

READ MORE: 12-Year-Old Shot In Brooklyn Remains Hospitalized, Police Searching For Gunman

The landlord evicted the cats’ owner, and he was nowhere to be found as the animals were herded up. They had been left to starve and freeze in the apartment by themselves.

Concerned neighbors called their closest animal hospital, and staffers rushed right over.

One kitten was suffering from a respiratory infection, while another cat had a wound to the neck. But most of them were very healthy and ready to be adopted.

None of the cats will be euthanized.

As of Thursday night, there were still four more cats to rescue, including two wily ones out in the garden.

Administrators at the animal hospital told CBS 2 that two of the adult cats and several kittens were already in foster homes by Thursday night.

MORE NEWS: Sanitation Worker Dies After Being Struck By Car In Brooklyn, Police Searching For Driver

Check Out These Other Stories From
[display-posts category=”news” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”4″]