Three people are facing animal cruelty charges after police say about 40 dogs were seized in a dog-fighting operation bust in the Tilbury area.

As part of a joint forces operation, multiple warrants were executed at a residence in Tilbury East Township on Friday.

It involved members of the Ontario SPCA major case management team, Chatham-Kent police intelligence unit, critical incident response team, forensic identification unit, major crime section and community patrol branch.

Approximately 40 dogs were seized from the property and placed into the care of the Ontario SPCA.

Police say the animals were found in various health conditions and will be individually assessed by a veterinarian. A treatment plan will be created based on their needs.

A large quantity of evidence that is consistent with the training of dogs to fight was seized, say police.

In addition to the dogs and training equipment, a number of firearms were also found and seized.

Due to the complexity of this incident and large amount of evidence found on the property, police say the investigation will be on-going.

A 43-year-old man, 41-year-old man and 39-year-old woman, all from that same location, are facing animal cruelty and firearm related offences.

They will be held in custody pending a bail hearing.