SOUNDVIEW - A group of Soundview tenants say they are on a mission to save stray cats at the Sotomayor Houses.

They claim their four-legged friends had to be rescued after workers covered dirt holes, trapping the cats inside.

Tenants say that they sometimes hear muffled cries from the trapped felines, and have dug with their bare hands to rescue them. They say each time they dig out the dwellings, the New York City Housing Authority workers cover them again.

NYCHA says the holes were covered because they were compromising the foundation of the building. The agency says it left one hole open to prevent any strays from being trapped.

Residents say there are about 60 stray cats throughout the complex, which help to keep rats at bay.