SEVERN, Md. (WJZ)—A group of teenagers gathered in the woods to watch two dogs fight. It’s the latest example of the growing animal cruelty in Maryland.

Kelly McPherson explains lawmakers try to up the ante when it comes to punishing animal abusers.

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Just this week, legislators were considering an animal abuse bill. And now, there’s another discovery of an injured dog due to illegal dog fighting.

Candy is the latest victim of dog fighting in Maryland.

“And underneath is where her skin’s so bad; it’s full of puss,” said a rehabilitator. “This is horrible.”

“This one is young and it was probably used as bait in the training,” said Knox Inman, medical director.

You can see the mark above her eye is likely a fresh bite wound. Her visible spine is a sign of malnourishment. Candy and another dog were being fought by several teenagers in Severn.

Anne Arundel County Police chased down and arrested two 16-year-olds.

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Neighbors were happy to hear that a fellow homeowner reported the crime.

“It’s just terrible,” said Michael Young, neighbor. “I thought that a lot of people would’ve learned from the celebrity cases that have happened. It’s just really sad that it happened so close to my house.”

Candy is not the first abused dog to come to the Telegraph Road Animal Hospital and will likely not be the last.

In Annapolis, they are addressing stricter penalties for abusers.

Legislators are hearing testimony and will consider increasing the fine from $1,000 to $2,500 and jail time from 90 days to six months.

“We’re not going to tolerate abuse of animals,” said Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold. “This abuse of animals is usually a precursor to more serious crimes against human beings.  So it’s important to nip this in the bud.”

In total five teenagers are suspected in this crime. Officers only caught two. They canvassed the wooded area but could not find the other dog or the three other people.

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Candy will be rehabilitated at the Telegraph Road Animal Hospital. In a few weeks, she will be up for adoption through that hospital.