A New Jersey horse rescue group is heading to West Virginia's Northern Panhandle to save 50 Arabian horses whose owner died in December.

A volunteer has been going to the Dallas farm daily to feed the animals since their owner fell ill in 2008, said Terry Figueroa, founder of the Arabian Rescue Mission. But the caretaker is overwhelmed, and the family of late owner Fazal Kahn can't find anyone to help.

"When the brother called me, he literally was begging for help," she told The Charleston Gazette.

"I hope nobody puts the owners and the guy who helped them down because they did the very best they could," she said. "You could look in anybody's backyard and find horses worse than these. If we hadn't stepped in, though, it might be another ball game."

Figueroa said the horses aren't in bad shape yet, but their health is declining.

Her group will take them to the Westmoreland Fairgrounds in Greensburg, Pa., this week. It's hoping for donations to offset the $10,000 it will cost to move and house the animals.

People can also donate buckets, hay, feed, antibiotics and other supplies at the fairgrounds, where the horses will remain until they are adopted.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)