ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. (WJZ)—Left to die in the middle of the woods, Anne Arundel County Police find a group of malnourished pit bulls helpless with no food or water.

Investigators say they are now searching for the owner.

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Rick Ritter has more on the deplorable conditions and how one of the pit bulls was found frozen to the ground.

Chained to trees with no food or water, simply left stranded. Video shows the gut wrenching conditions that have a group of pit bulls lucky to be alive.

“This is an inhumane situation we’re dealing with,” said Anne Arundel County Police Lieutenant T.J. Smith.

Friday afternoon, investigators were executing a search warrant in a wooded area of Freetown Road that’s private property. They were searching for any evidence related to a recent string of homicides, instead, they made a heartbreaking discovery.

Police say they found 5 dogs chained here in the woods, barley alive. Another was already dead frozen to the ground.

“With a dog frozen to the ground, clearly that dog had been rained on or snowed on in order to be frozen to the ground,” said Lt. Smith.

Trash scattered everywhere and an empty bucket of protein—a common sign of potential dog fighting.

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Ritter: Do you think these pit bulls were involved in any type of fighting ring?

Lt Smith: The dogs didn’t have obvious signs of injury to their body so we don’t believe they were involved in any type of dog fighting back here.

Now, investigators are desperately searching for the property owner of the wooded area.

“For a person to be able to do something like this to an animal, what could they possibly do to a human being,” said Smith.

While the five dogs recover at the county animal control…

“Unfortunately many of them are in bad condition, some are in better shape than others,” said Robin Catlett, of the Anne Arundel County Animal Control.

A tragic situation that could’ve been even worse.

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Animal Control Center hopes to put the dogs up for adoption if their recovery goes smoothly. Investigators are asking anyone with any information about the dogs owner to please come forward. If you have a tip call (410) 222-4700 and ask to speak with Anne Arundel County Police.

Rick Ritter