STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. -- A Lincoln County horse rescue is taking on more than 20 horses abandoned by another horse rescue.

The Stevens County Sheriff's Office is now investigating after more than 20 horses were abandoned. Rough Start Horse Rescue taking on the animals, but they need your help to feed them and to find them permanent homes.

"There's horses that have a lot of injuries to their legs and stuff, we're working with a vet right now seeing how many are possibly might be pregnant, seeing how many might need medical attention," said Kelly Altiero with Rough Start Horse Rescue.

The horses were once cared for by another horse rescue, Shepherd's Way Animal Rescue, and were simply abandoned according to the Stevens County Sheriff's Office. A neighbor called it in saying the owners had up and left.

"These are actually the Shepard's Ways horses, they've been in the area for close to 15 to 20 years and they've had numerous issues in the past, but at this point they've just abandoned the horses on the property," Altiero said.

The Stevens County Sheriff's Office posted a notice on the property saying the owners had 14 days to contact them but no one ever called. For now, they are treating this as an abandonment case but the investigation is still ongoing. The same neighbor who called it in stepped up and fed the horses for the last few weeks but Rough Start Horse Rescue is now taking over to get these horses the care they need.

While most of the horses seem to be in good health, at least one will need to be put down because the injury to her foot and leg is so bad it can't be fixed. Nineteen others though should be ready for adoption by the end of September. In the meantime, Rough Start Horse Rescue is in desperate need of your help.

"This is a huge undertaking for us because 20 horses on top of the 35 rescue horses we already have that's going to add a huge bill," Altiero explained.

The rescue needs donations of money, grain, and hay to help care for the horses. If they are not adopted before winter, they will need enough donations to buy at least 80 more tons of hay to make it through.

If you would like to help, click here.